It was a very nice win for the Yanks last night in the Bronx, something I did not see coming, because I honestly didn't feel too good about this game. With A.J. Burnett getting the ball you never know what kind of performance you're going to get, plus, Josh Beckett had been throwing the ball pretty well over since coming off the disabled list. Then, when Burnett went down with back spasms and Dustin Moseley was forced into the start, my pessimism grew.
I'm glad I was wrong.
Not only did the Yankees beat the hell out of the punk, but Moseley more than earned that huge ovation he received from the 49,096 in attendance as he walked off the mound.
The Yankees scored first with two runs in the 2nd. Lance Berkman, who had his best day as a Yankee, started things off with a one-out double. Then, with two out and Berkman on second, Brett Gardner hit a grounder towards the middle. Second baseman Bill Hall fielded the ball and had plenty of time to get the speedy Gardner, but the throw was wide and got by Victor Martinez at first. Gardner was safe and Berkman came around to score. Gardner would then steal second, his 31st of the year, and come in to score on Derek Jeter's RBI single. The single was the 2,874th hit of his career and put him passed a guy named Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list.
Meanwhile, Moseley was crusing right along. He held Boston to just a single over the first three. He got into a little trouble in the 4th when he allowed a single and then back-to-back walks to load the bases with two out, but he was able to get Ryan Kalish to ground out to end the threat.
In the 5th, Boston would get on the board when Hall launched a 1-1 pitch from Moseley into the seats in left for a solo homer.
Beckett had allowed eight hits over the first four, and was lucky he had only allowed the two runs up until that point, but that luck would change in the bottom of the 5th. Mark Teixeira led off the inning with his 25th home run of the season. Alex Rodriguez then drew a walk and Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch to put two on with nobody out. After Jorge Posada struck out, Berkman would pick up his third hit of the game, a RBI double to left. Jeter would cap off the five-run rally, and knock Beckett out of the game, with a two-run double.
Moseley got into trouble in the 7th and left the game with runners on 1st and 3rd and one out, and as I said before, left to a thunderous ovation from the crowd. Joba Chamberlain relieved him, and allowed a cheap infield single to Mike Lowell, which allowed Boston's second run to come in. That run was charged to Moseley whose night was now complete: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K... Not too shabby for a guy who didn't think he was going to throw a pitch tonight.
Joba got Jacoby Ellsbury to foul out for the second out of the inning, but then walked Marcos Scutaro to load the bases for David Ortiz. That would be it for Joba, as Joe Girardi came out of the dugout and called on lefty Boone Logan. Logan fell behind 3-1, but was able to get Ortiz to hit a 3-2 pitch weakly to second for the final out of the inning. Logan would pitch a 1-2-3 eighth to complete his impressive out.
David Robertson came in for the ninth, but thanks to an error by Ramiro Pena at third and a two-out walk to Ellsbury, Girardi was forced (in his mind) to bring Mariano Rivera into the game. Mo needed all of one pitch to retire Marco Scutaro and wrap up the Yankees 7-2 win.
Boston is now 7 games back, and because of Brandon Morrow's amazing start (9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 17 K) against the Rays, Tampa now trails the Yanks by 2.5.
Phil Hughes and the Yankees look to make it three out of four from the Sox tomorrow afternoon in the Bronx. Jon Lester will start for Boston as they hope to get out of New York with a split. First pitch is at 2:05 p.m., and the game will be on YES.
(photos from the AP and Getty)