For the third straight game the New York Yankees scored important runs in the late innings to aid in a victory. Last night, like the first game of now a three-game win streak, the runs allowed the Yankees to pull away in an otherwise close game. After Freddy Garcia pitched well to hold a slim Yankee lead, Ichiro Suzuki recorded four RBI in the last two innings, pacing the team’s three-run and four-run outbursts in the eighth and ninth innings, resulting in a 10-4 thumping of the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Garcia, who has more than held his own since returning to the rotation (4-3, 3.83 ERA in eight starts), pitched six solid innings in which he only threw 78 pitches. He allowed two runs on five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four. There is no telling why Joe Girardi decided to pull Garcia, who had plenty left in the tank, but Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain combined for a scoreless seventh inning. Then the offense took over behind Ichiro’s bat.
In the eighth, Mark Teixeira opened the frame with a solo homer, his 22nd of the season. The Yankees then got three straight two-out singles, the last a two-RBI liner by Suzuki that went off Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar‘s glove and through the middle. Ichiro wasn’t finished as he ripped a two-run double into left in the ninth, which was seemingly lost in the lights by Rajai Davis, to cap the late-inning spurts. Suzuki ended up with five RBI on the night, matching a career high.
The Yankees got back to 20 games over the .500 mark (66-46) for the first time since July 28 when they were 60-40. The Bombers maintain six-game leads in the loss column over the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The Yankees are now 3-2 on the road trip.
This afternoon the Yankees send struggling Ivan Nova to the hill to face left-hander Aaron Laffey. Nova (10-6, 4.81 ERA) has been dreadful of late, while Laffey (3-2, 4.39 ERA) has been just as bad. Both pitchers have ERAs over 8 in their last three starts.