Heading out west to end the first half is a pain in the ass, at least I'm sure it is for the players. So, getting this trip started with a win is very important and that's what Javier Vazquez and the Yankees did last night, winning 3-1 over the A's.
It was a well pitched game on both sides. Javy was great over seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. He also struck out two and threw 72 of his 110 pitches for strikes. With a nice mix of fastballs and breaking balls he had the A's batters off-balance all night leading to many weak grounders and pop ups.
His only blemish came in the third with the Yankees already up 2-0, and it was a triple off the bat of Cliff Pennington. He would later score on a sac fly by Coco Crisp. Besides that, Javy allowed just two singles and two walks.
A's starter Ben Sheets was also very good, but the Yankees scored a couple off him early and thanks to Javy the runs held up.
The Yankees didn't have too many opportunities to score tonight, only having three at-bats with RISP. But they cashed in when they had the chance picking up hits in two of those at-bats.
With two out in the second, Nick Swisher doubled. That was followed with a triple by Curtis Granderson and then an RBI single by Francisco Cervelli.
The third Yankees run also came off Sheets, a solo shot by Mark Teixeira in the sixth. It was his 14th homer of the season.
After Javy left the game the bullpen did their job as Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera retired all six batters they faced. Joba picked up two strikeouts and Mo picked up his 19th save of the year.
The Yanks are now 20 games over .500 and with Boston losing to Tampa last night at Tropicana Field so they're now two games ahead of the Rays and two and a half ahead of the Sox.
CC Sabathia looks for win no. 11 of the first half as he takes the mound tomorrow night against Oakland right-hander Trevor Cahill. First pitch is at 10:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES.