WP. Hughes (12-3) LP: S. O'Sullivan (1-1)
First off, when I say Alex Rodriguez came up short, I just mean with hitting no. 600 at home. Overall, he's been very good. Yesterday, Alex went 2-for-4 and drove in three, and for the series went 8-for-18, with a homer and 7 RBI. Who knows, maybe if he doesn't get plunked in the 8th inning yesterday he ends up hitting one out. Alex says his hand is fine, by the way.
Phil Hughes started for the Yanks and was just OK over 5.1 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, including two more homers, and struck out three. Hughes was finally settling, but then the rains came and his day was over. At 95 pitches he probably would just have finished the sixth before coming out anyway. And thanks to some more solid run support, he was able to walk away with a 5-3 lead and eventually his 12th win of the year.
He may have dominated the Yanks last week, but Sean O'Sullivan couldn't repeat the effort on Sunday. The Yankees got to him for five runs and seven hits over five before the rain knocked both he and Hughes out of the game. Curtis Granderson took him deep twice for two solo homers, and Tex, A-Rod and Jeet handled the other three runs.
After a couple hours of rain, play resumed and the Yankees continued to pound away on Royals pitching. They scored individual runs in the 6th and 7th, and then blew the game open in the 8th with five more. A-Rod, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano, drove in two apiece. Cano had two hits in the game, and the two-run double in the 8th was his 1000th of his career.
It was a good thing the Yankees offense didn't take their foot off the gas, because it was another rough day for the Yankees pen, and of course Joba Chamberlain. He allowed a two-run homer to Scott Podsednik--it was Pod's second two-run bomb of the day. Earlier, he had hit one off Hughes to give the Royals a brief 2-0 lead. The homer off Joba cut the Yankees lead from 7-3 to 7-5. Chan Ho Park also gave up a run in the ninth, but it wasn't really his fault because of Mark Teixeira's rare error, and the Yankees were up by seven by that point.
Either way, even with the win the Yankees really need to fix this pen. Joba seems to be getting worse as the season rolls on and this team is going to need a real setup man down the stretch. (Joakim Soria?)
It was the Yanks 62nd victory of the season, but Tampa also won so that remains a three-game lead. Boston did lose to continued their slide, falling eight back.
The Yankees now begin a seven-game road trip, starting with four games in Cleveland. Javier Vazquez starts in the opener tomorrow night, with Jake Westbrook getting the ball for the Tribe. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the game is on YES.