YANKEE STADIUM – The New York Yankees (27-21) defeated the Toronto Blue Jays (24-25) by the final score of 7-3 in Wednesday afternoon baseball action. In what was a huge series for the Bombers before the team travels out West for a three game set against the Seattle Mariners.
Platoon outfielder Andruw Jones shined in today’s game lifting two home runs for the Bombers, as well as the squad receiving offensive contributions from the dynamic duo of Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira. Setting the pace for the Yankees on the mound was Freddy Garcia (3-4) who earned the victory by going 6.1 innings, sitting down four batters.
“It was a great day for Jones at the plate,” Girardi said after the game. “This is the type of day that we had hoped for when we signed him to the team.” He would continue by saying, “Jones gave us a big lift today going 3-for-3 with the four RBI’s. It really helped us to be able to win a series before we go on the road; it was an important series for us.”
The Skipper would have high praises for his starter saying, “Freddy really set the tone for us out on the mount today. He was able to get the important outs on the big hitters and has really been great for us this season.”
New York plated their first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, as back-to-back doubles by Jeter and Granderson gave the Bombers the 1-0 lead. The leadoff double for the Captain was number 2,976 on the career, as the shortstop is now 24 away from reaching the 3,000 hit plateau.
Russell Martin aided the Yankees in extending their lead in the bottom of the second as the catcher worked a walk to set the stage for Andruw Jones. The leftfielder took a 1-0 count ball and lifted it over the left field wall for the 3-0 Bombers lead.
The dynamic duo of Granderson and Teixeira made the scoreboard 5-0 in the bottom of the third, as Granderson hit his second double of the game. For Granderson he has now reached base 10 times in the last 15 plate appearances in this series. Teixeira would then lift a two-run homer (13) to deep left field, as the first baseman has now homered four times in the last seven games.
Toronto broke up the shutout bid by Garcia in the top of the sixth inning as Aaron Hill began that frame with a single to left field. Designated Hitter Eric Thames scorched a double to center field to cut the lead to 5-1.
New York regained their lead in the bottom of the frame, when Jones would strike for his second homer. Nick Swisher leadoff the bottom of the inning to set up the outfielder who then recorded his 41st career multi-homer game, as well as the 39th two-homer game as he sent the ball flying over the center field wall for the 7-1 Yankee lead.
The Blue Jays though didn’t leave the Stadium without a fight striking for two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Hill would strike with his second hit of the game placing a single to left field. Thames also collected his second hit, a double to deep center cutting the lead to 7-2. Speedy Rajai Davis recorded a single to continue the offense for Toronto. A ground ball RBI by Jayson Nix cut the Yankee lead to 7-3 before Corey Patterson struck out swinging to end the inning.
Closer Mariano Rivera came in to make his 1,000 career appearance for the Yankees in the top of the ninth inning and shut the door on Toronto to propel the Bombers to the victory. Rivera became the first player in Major League history to reach the plateau with one team and 15th overall to accomplish the feat.
Girardi had this to say of Rivera accomplishing the milestone moment, “I just think back on all the things that he has done throughout his career. What comes to mind for me especially was when I came here in 1996 and I had a chance to catch him in the bullpen, and was very impressed. His stuff was just electric, was throwing 97 as well as placing the ball wherever he wanted too.” He continued, “I just knew that he was going to be someone special in the league.”
New York had another milestone moment as Joe Girardi earned his 314th career win as the Yankees manager today. The skipper surpassed Buck Showalter (313) for sole possession of eighth place on the franchise’s all-time wins list.
The Bombers will return back to action on Friday as they travel to Seattle to take on the Mariners. It will be righty-versus-righty A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02 ERA) takes on Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16 ERA). First pitch is slated for 10:10 p.m.