YANKEES 20, BRAVES 6
The Yankees came into Atlanta having surrendered first place to the Toronto Blue Jays, missing its top home run hitter and run producer in Mark Teixeira and desperately struggling to score runs. They left having swept the Braves by a combined score of 38-11 in three games.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run home run and Chase Headley and Stephen Drew added two-run shots off right-hander Julio Teheran while Nathan Eovaldi rolled to his ninth straight victory as New York thrashed Atlanta at Turner Field on Sunday.
Drew, who collected four hits and Headley, who added three, each drove in four runs as the Yankees scored eight runs in 4 1/3 innings against Teheran (9-7).
When the Braves managed to rally for two runs in the third inning and three runs in the sixth against Eovaldi (14-2) to draw to within 8-5 and chase the 25-year-old right-hander from the game, the Yankees put together a nine-run seventh inning against left-hander Ross Detwiler, right-hander Peter Moylan and right-hander Jake Brigham to put the game out of reach.
Pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Headley each drove in two runs in the inning in which the Yankees sent 14 batters to the plate and pounded out nine hits.
The Yankees added three more runs off Brigham in the eighth inning, capped by an RBI double by rookie relief pitcher Branden Pinder.
Teheran, who entered the game with a 7-1 record and a 2.55 ERA at home this season, was charged with season-high tying eight runs on nine hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
The rookie right-hander Brigham, who was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday, was charged with eight runs on nine hits and four walks with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.
Eovaldi yielded five runs on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts to run his career-best winning streak to nine games spanning his past 13 starts. The nine-game winning streak is the best in Major League Baseball this season.
However, Eovaldi needed help from right-hander Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve to get out of the sixth inning. Pinder and right-hander Bryan Mitchell pitched the final three innings to preserve the victory.
Including the 1996 and 1999 World Series, the Yankees have now 17 of the 19 games they have played at Turner Field.
With the victory the Yankees improved to 72-57 and they remain 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. The Braves, who have now lost 12 of their past 13 games, are 54-76.
- Drew has been batting under .200 for most of the season after batting .162 last season. But he was 4-for-4 with a homer, three singles, two walks, three runs scored and four RBIs. The four-hit game raised his season average to .201.
- Headley was 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, a single, two walks, three runs scored and four RBIs. Headley was 6-for-11 with a home run and seven RBIs in the three-game series. He raised his season average to .277. While most of the team has been struggling in August, Headley is batting .297 for the month.
- After a prolonged slump at the plate, Ellsbury is showing signs of life. He was 2-for-6 with a homer, a single, a walk, two runs scored and three RBIs in the game. Since Aug. 13, Ellsbury is 24-for-69 (.348) with two homers and six RBIs and he has scored 10 runs. That has raised his season average from .260 to .278.
- Eovaldi seems to get bogged down when he gets a big lead, which happens often since the Yankees provide him with more than seven runs a game. Even with a 7-0 lead he ended up allowing the Braves back into the game and left after giving up three straight hits to begin the sixth. He has to do better despite the fact he is 14-2.
With Teixeira still nursing a deep bone bruise on his right leg, manager Joe Girardi is having Rodriguez resume workouts at first base as a potential right-handed option along with rookie Greg Bird, who bats left-handed. Rodriguez has not played in the field since May 23, when he finished a game at first base.
The Yankees will open a three-game series with the last-place Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park starting on Monday.
Right-hander Ivan Nova (5-6, 4.50 ERA) will start the series for the Yankees. Nova is coming off two straight losses and gave up seven runs in a loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday.
The hapless Red Flops will counter with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (7-5, 4.39 ERA). Rodriguez gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings in a no-decision last Monday against the Kansas City Royals.
Game-time will be 7:10 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by ESPN and locally by the YES Network.
If Tuesday night’s game between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field were akin to a boxing match, the Braves would have staggered all over the ring but still won the fight on a lucky punch.
“We need to get hits — there’s really no secret formula,” Jeter said to MLB.com. “We’ve just got to get guys on base and score some runs, especially early, to help out our pitching staff.”
was puzzled by the ruling. MLB never has shown much backbone in supporting team protests over the years so it really was no surprise . . . Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira has regained his lead over his Red Sox counterpart Kevin Youkilis in the voting for the 2009 All-Star Game. In the last vote totals announced last week, Youkilis led Teixeira by just 1,315 votes. In the current balloting Teixeira now has 35,632 more votes than Youkilis . . . Jeter leads in the voting at shortstop with a considerable lead over the Rays’ Jason Bartlett and Rangers rookie Elvis Andrus. Jeter leads all AL vote-getters with more than 2.5 million votes. The voting ends on July 2 . . . A.J. Burnett, who was suspended by Major League Baseball for six games for a June 2 incident, dropped his appeal in exchange for a reduction of the suspension to five games. He began serving the suspension Sunday. Burnett was accused of throwing at the head of Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz after Rangers starter Vicente Padilla had hit two Yankees with inside fastballs. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings warned both benches but did not eject Burnett. MLB issued the suspension a day later but surprisingly did not suspend Padilla. Because of an off day for the Yankees on Monday, Burnett will pitch Saturday against the Mets in Citi Field and there will be no disruption in the rotation this week. Burnett’s start scheduled originally for Friday will go to CC Sabathia, who will still pitch on regular rest . . . Sabathia, who left his start in the second inning on Sunday with left biceps tendinitis will throw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday. If he feels healthy he will pitch Friday against the Mets. Sabathia told reporters that he feels fine and he expects to be able to make the start . . . Outfielder Johnny Damon did not start a second straight game with a sore right calf. Damon has pinch-hit in the late innings in the past two games and reached both times on walks. But he was immediately replaced by pinch-runners on both occasions. Damon injured his calf on a play Saturday where he misplayed a line drive into an error. Damon hopes to start Wednesday night but is listed as day-to-day.