Bronx, NY—In a reversal of the previous day’s result, the Yankees had a seventh inning rally that gave them the victory on Sunday afternoon. It is an occurrence that has happened often this season. The victory was the 14th comeback win of the team’s 30 victories. Both starters were in command of their pitches and facing few difficulties from the batters of the opposing team.
Justin Masterson held the Yankees scoreless during the first six frames. The hard-luck hurler, winless in his last 17 starts, ran into trouble in the seventh. Runners were on second and third with two out when Derek Jeter singled to center to score both baserunners.
Jeter’s two runs batted in tied him with Don Mattingly for ninth place in the career listing of Yankees with 1,099. The milestone came one day after Jeter’s 15th anniversary with the club. Jeter is batting .469 (15 for 32) during his current seven game hitting streak. Despite his two hits off Masterson, Jeter remarked, “He’s not a fun at bat.” The Yankee skipper was also impressed by Masterson’s performance, “Masterson was really tough day. He has a real good sinker.” After Jeter’s single, he was removed from the game.
The Yankees had less problems with the next Indians pitcher, Tony Sipp. The first batter, Curtis Granderson, doubled. Mark Teixeira blasted a three run homer to give New York a 5-3 advantage. Girardi gave full credit to his first baseman, who has been struggling at the plate recently, “It was a huge hit for us. We were having trouble scoring.” The Yankees added two more runs in the eighth.
Yankee starter AJ Burnett performed excellently. He pitched for eight innings, which gave the Yankees overtaxed bullpen a ch needed rest. Burnett surrendered only five hits. He hit two batters, but had a rare start without issuing a base on balls. This was Burnett’s first start in nearly four years, June 27, 2006, in which he has gone at least eight innings without issuing a free pass.
Cleveland manager Manny Acta was profuse in his praise of Burnett, “He’s tough. He’s come a long way from when I saw him with the Marlins. He’s not trying to throw 100 mph out there anymore. He got ahead of our hitters, and when he did, he threw that wicked curveball that he has. He was tough.”
Mariano Rivera entered in the ninth for a rare non-save appearance. He retired all three batters he faced, fanning two. On the final out of the game, Rivera made an acrobatic leap over the bat of Luis Valbuena, yet was able to field the baseball and throw to first baseman Teixeira. None of the Yankees players are surprised by Rivera’s outstanding athleticism. Teixeira explained to reporters, “Mo’s the best athlete on this club. If he wanted to be a center fielder, he end his career as a Hall of Fame center fielder.”
Before the contest, Robinson Cano was honored by latinobaseball.com as Citizen of the Year. He could also be awarded as Yankees player of the year. He extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the team high. During those games, Cano has batted .455 with 25 hits in 55 at bats. His batting has been exceptionally productive as he has driven in 14 runs in the 13 games.