Bronx, NY—The San Francisco Giants made their first visit to the current Yankee Stadium on Friday night. Their last trip to the Bronx was in 2002 for an inter-league series with the Yankees.
When the home ballpark of the Giants was one subway stop away from that of the Yankees on the D line, the two clubs met in the World Series in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1936, 1937, 1951 and 1962. Interestingly, in 1921 and 1922, both teams used the Polo Grounds as their home stadium, so all the World Series contests were played there.
On Friday, the Yanks took the lead in the must win contest for them as Alfonso Soriano blasted an 0-2 pitch into the stands in right off starter Tim Lincecum to lead-off the second frame. The home run was his 16th in Yankee pinstripes. He has also knocked in 49 runs in his 51 games as a Yankee. The veteran outfielder has hit 33 homers and driven in 100 runs during the full 2013 season.
The score was tied in the following inning as DeWitt Clinton grad Juan Perez of the Giants doubled in the only run the Giants would score on Friday. The youngster, happy to be living with his family in the Bronx for the week his team is in New York City, also doubled in the first inning.
The score remained knotted at one until the bottom of the seventh. Eduardo Nuñez opened with a single and then stole second. Yankee shortstop Brendan Ryan was hit by a pitch. With two out, Ichiro drew a walk. Lincecum was removed from the game was replaced on the mound by former Yankee George Kontos. On a 2-1 pitch the next batter, Alex Rodriguez, homered to right to drive in four runs.
The historic Grand Slam was A-Rod’s 24th, which established a new major league mark. Rodriguez had been tied with Yankee legend Lou Gehrig at 23. After the game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi was asked why he played the injured Rodriguez. He responded with the following words, “We need a big hit. He can do that. He has the knack.”
Yankee starter C.C. Sabathia left the game facing one batter in the eighth with the Yanks ahead, 5-1. Sabathia commented on his performance, “I just was making good pitches when I had to. He also gave credit to rookie catcher J.R. Murphy, “I didn’t have to shake him off one time.”
David Robertson followed Sabathia in the eighth and Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Girardi explained why he brought in the veteran closer in a non-save situation, “We cannot afford to lose any more games. I’m going to get him in there when I can.”
Sabathia remains perfect against San Francisco. He is now 3-0 with an ERA of 1.66.
The next game, a Saturday matinee, will pit Ivan Nova (8-5) vs. Ryan Vogelsong.