Bronx, NY—The Yanks had a large Memorial Day crowd; the weather was excellent; Andy Pettitte pitched an outstanding game; Alex Rodriguez hit his 20th grand slam home run; the Yanks had a season-high of 18 hits, and won easily by a score of 11-2. It would have been a perfect day for the Bronx organization except that team captain Derek Jeter was lifted for a pinch runner in the seventh. Manager Joe Girardi explained in his post-game press conference, “He [Jeter] got hit in the back of his hamstring [second inning] and it got of stiff.”
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte continued his daytime undefeated streak. The lefthander hurled seven innings and gave up only one run, a lead-off, solo homer by Jhonny Peralta in the second. Pettitte surrendered only three other hits and did not walk batter. He has not issued a walk in his last two starts.The last baserunner against Pettitte got on with one out in the third. Pettitte retired the final 14 batters he faced to earn his 236 career victory. The total ties the career mark of Yankees icon Whitey Ford. Pettitte said of tying Ford, “That’s awesome. That’s really special. He’s been a huge supporter of mine. We have a great relationship.”
The 37 year-old starter was asked if he was near retirement or intended to continue into his 40’s. He responded as he had previously, “I can’t see myself playing a lot longer. I can’t think long term. I don’t have personal goals.” He explained that his on-the-field performances will not be the deciding factor in determining when he will stop playing”It’ll be when I feel I have to be with my family more. I put a lot of stock in what my wife says. She’s there.”
As in the previous three contests of this series, the seventh inning saw an eruption of runs that made the outcome clear. Thirty-five of the 57 runs scored in the four games crossed the plate in the seventh inning. The Bronx Bombers lived up to the nickname during the game, especially in the seventh.
Brett Gardner led off with a single and was thrown out trying to steal second. Jeter and then Curtis Granderson singled. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Mark Teixeira was walked intentionally. A study of past history by the Cleveland skipper Manny Acta could have prevented history from being repeated. Rodriguez drove the ball into monument Park in deep center field for his 20th career grand slam. This at bat was the seventh for A-Rod after Teixeira was walked to load the sacks. Unbelievably, Rodriguez is 5 for 5 with three of hits being homers. He also drew a walk and hit a sacrifice fly. He garnered 18 runs batted in the seven plate appearances. Rodriguez drove in two other runs for a season-high of six in the contest.
The second leading hitter in the A.L., Robinson Cano followed with a solo home run. The home run gave Cano a team-high 11 homers and increased his team-high hitting streak to 14. Cano is batting .450 during the 14 games, 27 for 60. He has driven in 17 runs during the streak. Cano’s two hits raised his multi-hit games to 24.
Derek Jeter upped his consecutive game hitting streak to eight games. During that stretch, he has batted .486 (17 for 35). This was also his eighth straight multi-hit game against Cleveland, a Yankee record.