The New York Yankees suffered yet another injury to an important piece of the machine last night as Alex Rodriguez was plunked in the left hand by Felix Hernandez, and the offense continued to fail in their most recent RISP slump.
A-Rod suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal, the pinky bone on the outside of his left hand, and is expected to miss up to 8 weeks. He’ll head back to New York today to be examined by team physician, Dr. Chris Ahmad.
This West Coast road trip, despite the addition of Ichiro Suzuki on Monday, is turning into a disaster. They have lost five out of six games after taking what looked like an insurmountable lead in the American League East just prior to arriving in Oakland. Now the injury to Rodriguez is going to be yet another test for the Bombers.
Hernandez, who won his third straight start and hasn’t lost since June 12, was beatable last night allowing ten base runners in total. However, the Yankees once again had a difficult time getting the big hit with runners in scoring position. They were 2-for-10 in such situations last night and are 11-for-47 (.234) on the road trip.
The Yankees struck first in the first inning as Curtis Granderson hit his 27th home run of the season, a solo shot to give the Yankees and Freddy Garcia a 1-0 lead. Garcia would give the run right back in the bottom of the inning as Michael Saunders hit a one-out solo shot of his own to tie the game.
Garcia allowed a run-scoring single to former Yankee Jesus Montero and a sacrifice fly by John Jaso which plated another run in the third inning. Garcia eventually settled down and kept the Yankees within striking distance with 7 1/3 innings of three-run ball.
Hernandez walked a fine line in maintaining the lead, wiggling in and out of trouble much by his own doing. He allowed four hits, walked three and hit three batters. The Yankees had a runner on second in the fourth and fifth innings, but the eighth inning provided their best chance to tie or take the lead.
Hernandez hit Derek Jeter to start the frame. Granderson struck out, but Jeter moved to second on a wild pitch during the at-bat. A-Rod was hit next and it there was no doubt this was going to be a big injury as he dropped to the ground and cried out in pain. That was all for Hernandez as the Mariners turned to lefty reliever Lucas Luetge. Jayson Nix ran for Rodriguez, and moved up a base on Robinson Cano‘s single. With the bases loaded and just one out, Mark Teixeira lofted a sac fly to center field scoring Jeter. Raul Ibanez struck out swinging to end the inning.
The Yankees gave the Mariners a gift insurance run in the bottom half of the eighth as three relievers managed to walk three batters and a soft infield hit scored a run. Mariners’ closer Tom Wilhelmsen tossed a perfect ninth inning for his 11th save of the season.
The Yankees (58-39) maintain a seven-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. The Mariners (43-56) are a distant 15.5 games back of the AL West leading Texas Rangers.
In this afternoon’s series finale, the Yankees pin their hopes to Ivan Nova’s right arm. Nova (10-4, 4.10 ERA) is coming off a no-decision against the Oakland A’s in his last start, in which he allowed two runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out six. The Mariners send Hisashi Iwakuma out for his fourth MLB start. Iwakuma (1-2, 4.86 ERA) also received a no-decision in his last outing, allowing two runs in six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Topics: A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro Suzuki, Ivan Nova, Jayson Nix, Jesus Montero, Mark Teixeira, Michael Saunders, New York Yankees, Robinson Cano, Tom Wilhelmsen, Yankees