GAME 77: The Yankees avoided a payback sweep in Toronto with big hits and clutch pitching, snapping their 4 game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays. Yanks’ starter Hiroki Kuroda turned in a quality outing, and the bullpen made Mark Teixeira‘s third inning 2-run blast stand up.
Bullpen Steps Up!
With a tenuous 4-3 lead after 5 innings, Kuroda, then Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton, Adam Warren and David Robertson held the line. The 7th inning in particular was the mine-field which the bullpen had to navigate through. With two on and one out, Kelley got Melky Cabrera on a harmless fly to right. Thornton then was greeted by a double-steal, moving both runners in scoring position, but ended the threat by inducing an Adam Lind come-backer for the final out. Adam Warren, roughed up in his last two outings, was on a short leash, and removed by Girardi after allowing a one out single to Dioner Navarro. David Robertson, called in for a 5-out save, struck out four of the five batters he faced, nailing down the save ( his 18th of the season).
Cisco Kid Starts It, Teixeria Finishes It
Welcome back Francisco Cervelli! After a Kelly Johnson walk to start the 3rd, Cervelli scorched an RBI double to right-center, putting the Yanks on the board, and tying the game 1-1. Two outs later, Jacoby Ellsbury ripped a single to center scoring Cervelli. Teixeria followed with a blast to right-center for a 4-1 Yanks lead. The Yanks tacked one on with a hitless rally in the 7th — walk, hit-by-pitch, walk, and sac fly — but wasted an opportunity to blow it open, leaving the bases loaded and settling for a 5-3 lead.
Here’s the box score and recap.
MEMORY LANE: On June 25th, 1997, Yankees third baseman Charlie Hayes clubbed a 2-run blast in the top of the 9th off Detroit reliever Justin Thompson to break a 1-1 tie. Mariano Rivera‘s 25th save secured the win. Andy Pettitte started and went 7 innings, scattering 8 hits and striking out 4. Lefty Mike Stanton pitched a scoreless 8th. The victory completed a 3-game sweep over the Tigers. The Yanks improved to 43-32 under manager Joe Torre, in second place, 8 games behind the Baltimore Orioles …