The Yankees began their West Coast trip in Oakland against the Athletics, with Ivan Nova squaring off against Tyson Ross. Nova has apparently been bothered by a minor hamstring issue of late, but apparently it was not serious enough for him to miss a start.
Ross and Nova traded zeroes for the first two innings, and then the Yankees got on the board in the 3rd. After a strikeout by Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson singled to left to put a runner on with 1 out. Alex Rodriguez also went down on strikes, bringing up Robinson Cano. Cano reached on an error by the usually sure-handed Coco Crisp, scoring Granderson and extending the inning. Mark Teixeira made the A’s pay for the mistake, swatting a home run to right to bring in Cano, and give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
The A’s got on the board in the bottom of the 4th when former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick, who is having a fine season, hit a solo home run to center on an 88 mph fastball (maybe a 2-seamer/sinker?). This pulled the A’s to within 2 runs, but the Yankees were able to add to their lead in the next frame. Cano hit a leadoff homer to center, and Teixeira followed with a double. Raul Ibanez also doubled, scoring Teixeira, and was then driven in by a Nick Swisher home run. This was enough to chase Ross from the game, and left the Yankees with a 6-1 lead.
The A’s continued to battle, picking up a run in the 5th on a Daric Barton RBI double, and another in the 7th on a solo home run by Kila Ka’aihue to pull the score to 6-3. After completing 7 innings, Nova gave way to Boone Logan, who once again took care of business. Logan retired Jemile Weeks on a fly ball and Coco Crisp on a groundout, before striking out Reddick swinging on a slider to end the inning.
Rafael Soriano came in to close things out in the 9th, in search of that elusive 1-2-3 inning. Soriano struck out Seth Smith on a nasty breaking ball and retired Ka’aihue on a weak grounder to the mound, bringing up Josh Donaldson as the A’s last chance for a comeback. Donaldson doubled over Dewayne Wise‘s head in left to spoil Soriano’s 1-2-3 bid, sending up Daric Barton. After falling behind 2-0, Soriano battled back to 2-2 on fastballs before getting Barton to chase a breaking ball out of the zone for the strikeout and the save.
Overall it was a solid, but not spectacular outing for Ivan Nova. He didn’t seem to have great feel with his secondary offerings, but was able to get strikes with his fastball. Nova lasted 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts. Although it was a strong performance by Nova, the 2 home runs still remain an area of concern. Nova has had a sky-high home run rate this season, and giving up 2 more in a 7-inning start isn’t going to do anything to help that. One homer was off a fastball, and the other off a hanging curve, though the changeup has been the big home run pitch for Nova this season.
It was great to see another drama-free inning from Boone Logan, as he has continued to be a dominant presence out of the bullpen against both righties and lefties. I know it will take Yankee fans a long time to trust him, but he has been a revelation this season, capably filling the setup role after the injuries to Mariano Rivera and David Robertson.
For the Yankee lineup, the production was pretty evenly distributed. 5 players had multi-hit games, with the big blows coming on the home runs by Teixeira, Swisher, and Cano. It has been a terribly disappointing season for Teixeira, so it was nice to see him in the thick of things tonight (even if it was against a mediocre pitcher in Tyson Ross). Hopefully this can be the start of something positive that Teixeira can build on, and maybe he is finally getting over that bronchial infection.
The Yankees go back to work in Oakland tomorrow (or later today, depending on where you are) at 4:05 Eastern, looking to continue their winning streak. It will be a tremendous (pun intended) pitching matchup, as CC Sabathia squares off against old friend Bartolo Colon in what should be a heavyweight battle for the ages. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Colon pitch again, even if it is in a different uniform.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees