YANKEES 11, INDIANS 7
After getting beaten like a drum by their bitter rival Boston at home, the Yankees needed to (1) get mad, (2) score a boatload of runs and (3) get a good pitching performance out of their starting pitcher.
They accomplished all three on Friday night.
Ivan Nova pitched seven solid innings of two-run baseball, the Yankees scored 11 runs on 15 hits and both benches cleared when Indians starter Fausto Carmona hit Mark Teixeira in the second inning as New York took their frustrations out on Cleveland.
Carmona (3-8) gave up six runs on eight hits and three walks in four innings of work. But he drew the ire of Teixeira and the Yankees when he plunked Teixeira in the right shoulder with his first delivery after Curtis Granderson had deposited his 19th home run in the second deck in right field to make the score 4-0. As Teixeira bellowed at Carmona, both benches emptied and manager Joe Girardi got into a face-to-face shouting match with Indians manager Manny Acta. Both benches were warned by home-plate umpire Dale Scott and no further incidents occurred.
But the riled up Yankees continued to pound Indians pitching. Besides Granderson’s blast, the big blows were a mammoth 450-foot home run by Alex Rodriguez off Carmona in the fourth inning that landed in the first row above the StubHub sign just to the left of dead center and a three-run double by Teixeira in the seventh inning off Chad Durbin that made the score 10-2.
Nova (5-4) gave up two runs on four hits and three walks and struck out six batters to win for the first time since May 17 against Tampa Bay. He was 0-1 with two no-decisions in his last thee starts.
However, before the game was over the Yankees auditioned their revamped bullpen minus Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte. Neither newcomer Kevin Whelan, Amauri Sanit or Lance Pendleton could seem to be able to protect a 11-2 lead with six outs to go. After the Indians scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth, Girardi turned to Mariano Rivera to get the last two outs.
With the victory the Yankees improved to 34-27 and they remain two games in back of the first-place Red Sox in the American League East. The Indians, who started the season 30-15, fell to 34-27 also. They have now lost 12 of their last 16 games.
- After starting the season looking like he was truly washed up at age 39, Jorge Posada is showing he still has some life in his bat. He was 3-for-5 on Friday and drove in a run. In his last four games, Posada is 10-for-16 and has raised his season average from .169 to .215.
- Granderson’s 19th home run puts him in second place in the majors behind Jose Bautista, who has been stuck on 20 for a few weeks now. It was Granderson’s second home run in two games and he finished the night 2-for-5, scored three runs, drove in one and stole a base.
- Rodriguez also homered, his second in his last three games. It was Rodriguez’s 12th homer of the season and the 625th of his career. He also added an RBI double in the seventh inning that scored the Yankees’ final tally of the night.
- With the starting rotation shell-shocked over the past three games and the bullpen looking thin without Chamberlain, Nova came through an excellent effort just when the Yankees needed it. Nova looked to be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation after his last two outings, but he threw 66 strikes out of 100 pitches and only gave up an RBI groundout to Michael Brantley in the fifth and a solo home run to Carlos Santana in the sixth.
- Whelan was called up from Triple-A before the game and his jitters in his major-league debut showed as he walked the bases loaded in the seventh and then allowed a run by walking in fellow rookie Cord Phelps. Sanit came in to end the threat in the eighth but he ended up giving up four consecutive singles in the ninth, culminating in an RBI single by Santana. Pendleton was then summoned but he walked Shin-Soo Choo with the bases loaded to allow another run to score. So Girardi called in Rivera. After a two-run single by Matt LaPorta made it 11-7, Rivera retired the last two batters. This bullpen definitely needs some help via trade.
- For some reason, Posada must somehow think he has Brett Gardner’s speed. Once again, Posada attempted to stretch a hit and was thrown out. Leading off the fifth inning with a line drive hit slicing down the left-field line, Posada steamed into second but was thrown out easily by Brantley. Against the Angels last week, Posada tried to stretch a double into into a triple but was thrown out by 15 feet.
- The only starter who did not get a hit was Nick Swisher, who was 0-for-2. However, Swisher did contribute a sacrifice fly in the first inning and he walked twice. Though Swisher is hitting a subpar .216, he has an on-base percentage of .343.
Derek Jeter doubled to right off Durbin in the seventh inning to record his 2,991st hit of his career. He is just nine shy of 3,000 with six games left on the current homestand. . . . Russell Martin missed his third straight game after suffering a back injury on Tuesday night. Martin hopes to return to the starting lineup on Sunday. Girardi indicated that the Yankees would use Posada behind the plate if anything happened to backup catcher Francisco Cervelli. . . . Chamberlain will leave the team Wednesday for Pensacola, FL, to have reconstructive right elbow surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews. An MRI taken on Chamberlain’s elbow indicated a torn ligament and the expected recovery time is between 10 to 14 months. . . . The Yankees promoted Whelan from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and sent outfielder Chris Dickerson to the same club in order to add some bullpen depth. Whelan, 27, was 1-1 with a 1.67 ERA in 25 appearances for Scranton this season. Whelan was acquired in 2006 from the Detroit Tigers in the Gary Sheffield trade.
The Yankees will continue their four-game weekend series with the Indians on Saturday.
Ageless wonder Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.39 ERA) will start for the Yankees. Colon pitched a tough 5 1/3 innings and got great relief work to win his last start against the Angels on Sunday. He struck out four and walked two. He is 4-3 with a 4.00 ERA in his career against his former team.
The Indians will counter with right-hander Mitch Talbot (2-2, 4.18 ERA). Talbot gave up two runs on a pair of solo home runs over six innings in a loss to the Rangers on Sunday. He is 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast by the YES Network.