Bronx, NY—Most Yankees fans felt despair in the early moments of Friday night’s game versus Toronto. Catcher Francisco Cervelli was removed from the game after three pitches were thrown. Cervelli suffered a fractured right hand from a foul tip. He will require surgery on Saturday and is expected to be out for at least six weeks. Austin Romine will be recalled from the minors to replace Cervelli on the roster.
Starting pitcher Ivan Nova left the game after the first two Toronto batters in the third reached base. It was announced that Nova experienced pain in his right elbow. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Another indication of the current situation on the Yankees is that the designated hitter, Ben Francisco, began the contest with a .103 batting average and nary a run batted in and was batting ninth in the order. After walking in the third, Francisco was pinch hit for in the fourth.
The first run in the game was scored by a lead-off homer off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion in the top of the second. It was the fourth consecutive game in which the first baseman homered. He homered again to lead-off the sixth inning. Encarnacion has driven in eight runs in the last four games.
The very slow moving contest was tied at two at the end of three frames. Eduardo Nuñez began the bottom of the fourth by drawing a walk. Lyle Overbay drove him in with a triple to center. The hit broke Overbay’s 0 for 16 batting streak. Overbay scored the fourth run for the Yankees on a wild pitch by Toronto reliever Brad Lincoln.
Reliever David Phelps, who followed Nova in the third, pitched a very effective four innings and earned the win. He gave up only two hits and one run, off the second home run by Encarnacion. Phelps fanned a career high of nine batters.
Chris Stewart, who caught Cervelli in the game, commented about his battery mate’s performance, “The four innings and one run ball was huge for us. Our long guy did what he needed to and more.”
The Yankees scored their fifth run in the seventh. Robinson Cano began with a double to right. He moved to third on a groundout and crossed the plate after a passed ball by catcher J.P. Arencibia.
The last two runs of the night were scored on solo homers in the eighth, one for each team, Jose Bautista and Brett Gardner,
The third game of the series on Saturday afternoon will feature Yankee ace C,C, Sabathia (3-2) versus J.A. Happ (2-1).