New York Yankees 6 — Toronto Blue Jays 4
In the rubber game of the three-game series in Toronto, CC Sabathia looked to rebound from his poor start to open the season in Houston.
Before Sabathia could take the mound, the offense looked to give their number one starter a lead to work with. Against rookie starter Drew Hutchison, Brett Gardner started with a walk and on the first pitch to Derek Jeter, Gardner was off first and easily stole second base for his second stolen base of the season. Derek Jeter did just what he wanted to do with a ground out to the right side of the infield and moved Gardner to third base. Jacoby Ellsbury, batting in the three slot, hit a ground out to second base and without a single hit, the Yankees had a one-run lead. Hutchison would continue having first inning struggles when he walked Brian McCann and hit Alfonso Soriano with a pitch before Kelly Johnson hit a deep two-run double over the head of Melky Cabrera, giving the Yankees a three-run lead before Sabathia even touched the mound.
CC Sabathia would look to have a better start today but Melky Cabrera wasn’t selective of which starting pitcher he tortured. The former Yankee would strike again, putting the Blue Jays on the board with a leadoff home run. The second batter, Maicer Izturis, would hit a ground ball to the right of Yangervis Solarte but he would have no play on it. Bautista would hit a second ground ball but it would only get one out on the attempt at a double play. Edwin Encarnacion would be caught looking at strikes and Dioner Navarro would ground out to first to keep the damage to just one.
In the fourth inning, Brian Roberts got the rally started with a leadoff walk. He would steal second base and score on who else’s bat but Yangervis Solarte’s ground-rule double to deep right-center field. The Cinderella story continues. The Yankees would get their first home run of the 2014 season with a mighty swing by Brett Gardner who put a full-count pitch into the right field netting and the first Yankees home run was a two-run home run. Speaking of firsts, Alfonso Soriano ended his 0-for-17 skid to start the season with a bloop single to right field.
Derek Jeter got his first hit of the game in the third inning, tying himself with Paul Molitor for eighth on the all-time hits list. He would get his second hit of the day, career hit number 3,320, in the fourth inning, putting him alone in eighth place as he continues putting names behind him on the all-time hits list.
The three-run fourth inning gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead and CC Sabathia was in control. After the single by Izturis in the first inning, 16 of the next 17 batters would experience failure against the Yankees lefty. In the sixth inning, CC Sabathia would get the first two outs before running into his first serious trouble of the game. Jose Bautista would hit an unusual bloop single to keep the inning alive. Edwin Encarnacion would follow with a single of his own and Dioner Navarro would bring in the second run for the Blue Jays with a double to left field. Catcher Erik Kratz would plate two runs with a single to center field to make it a 6-4 game as Sabathia was coming on the end of his start. The veteran lefty would crank it up to 92 MPH on his fastball to get a easy fly out from Brett Lawrie to finish his start.
In six innings, CC Sabathia allowed four runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out six. The sixth inning was the only bad inning of his start as he rebounds well and looks to set things right as the number one starter. In this three-game series, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia, the three starters, went 19 innings without walking a batter.
Adam Warren looks to have solidified his spot as the seventh inning reliever with a perfect inning following Sabathia. Shawn Kelley would come out for the eighth inning and gave up a two-out triple but he stranded the runner with an easy ground out to Kelly Johnson at first base.
With David Robertson in the closer’s role, many Yankees fans were fearful of the “typical Robertson inning,” that featured some wildness and excessive pitches in a big inning that required “Houdini” to work his magic. Today may have been the first “typical Robertson inning.” With one out in the ninth inning, Brett Lawrie would single up the middle, literally over the back of the Yankees closer. Adam Lind would pinch-hit and walk as the potential game-tying run. Colby Rasmus would pinch-hit as the potential game-winning run but he would pop out to third for the second out. Yankees killer Melky Cabrera would come up looking to break the hearts of those that used to love him but he would hit a fly out to right field and David Robertson settled down and overcame trouble for his second save of the 2014 season.
Time for the Yankees to finally come home!
Win – CC Sabathia (1-1)
Loss – Drew Hutchison (0-1)
Save – David Robertson (2)
*Brett Gardner – 1 for 4, 2 R, Two-Run Home Run (1) in the 4th, 2 RBI (4)
*Kelly Johnson – 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI (2)
*Melky Cabrera – 1 for 5, R, Solo Home Run (3) in the 1st, 3 RBI (3)
*Erik Kratz – 1 for 4, 2 RBI (4)
Current Yankees Record: 3-3