Yesterday’s rain out may have been a blessing in disguise for the New York Yankees. Coming off a 2-5 week, the Bronx Bombers needed a day off before they headed out to the west coast for a six-game swing. The celebrated long-time Yankees announcer Kenny Singleton’s birthday with a much needed victory to get back above .500.
The night started off with yet another tribute to the Captain on the next leg on his Farewell Express. Former Yankee and then Mariner Jay Buhner was on hand to present Derek Jeter with a seat from the old Kingdome. Long time nemesis Edgar Martinez was on hand as well. After a hug from Robinson Cano, it was down to business as usual.
Vidal Nuno took the mound to start and squaring off against Hisashi Iwakuma, he would need to be on top of his game. Nuno didn’t have his A game with him, but he certainly pitched a B performance. His numbers looked great (5.2 innings pitched, four hits, one walk, and one run allowed while striking out two) however they don’t tell the whole story. The Mariners were taking Nuno deep all over the ball park and he was repeatedly bailed out by some spectacular plays in the outfield. Ichiro made a fine diving catch in the gap in right field in the second and Jacoby Ellsbury made a leaping catch at the wall to end the fourth inning with two runners on and the Mariners threatening. Iwakuma was equally on his game, hurling seven and a third innings of three run ball and striking out five Yankees.
The Yankees struck early in the top of the first. Derek Jeter singled with one out and would be later moved to second on a two out single by Mark Teixeira. Carlos Beltran, who hd been struggling since his return from the DL, doubled to the opposite field, driving in Jeter. McCann would follow next and single home Teixiera to give the Yankees a quick 2-0 lead. The Mariners would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the first designated hitter Cole Gillepsie drove in none other than Robinson Cano.
It was quiet from there on as Nuno matched Iwakuma pitch for pitch until the seventh inning. Dellin Betances had come in the inning prior for the final out of the sixth, but got hit in the seventh, allowing left fielder Dustin Ackley to knock in catcher Mike Zunino to tie the game at two. Betances would pick up his second blown save on the year, but move to 4-0 when the day was done.
The Yankees didn’t waste much time getting the lead back. Iwakuma surprisingly came back out to start the eighth despite having tossed over a hundred pitches already on the night. After a long at bat with Brett Gardner in which he just missed a home run down the right field line and flew out, Jeter (who finished 2-3 scoring two runs) smacked a ground rule double into the gap. Jacoby Ellsbury would single in the Yankee Captain to take a 3-2 lead. The single extended Ellsbury’s hitting streak to 14 games.
Adam Warren came on to pitch the eighth inning. He allowed a hit but made it to the ninth unscathed. An uneventful top of the ninth by the Yankees aside from Yangervis Solarte reaching base after being hit by a pitch set up David Robertson for the save. Robertson made it exciting, striking out his first two batters and then walking Dustin Ackley. He then bounced right back, striking out pinch hitter John Buck and locking down the Yankees 32nd win of the season. It was Robertson’s 15th save of the season.
Masahiro Tanaka (9-1, 2.02) looks to get his tenth win of the season in game two tomorrow night. Chris Young (5-3, 3.42) takes the mound for the Mariners in hopes of continuing his little rebound season he has had thus far. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 PM.