Granderson’s slam and Sabathia’s arm lead Yanks to 9-4 win over Tigers
The New York Yankees are hoping that last night’s production will continue throughout the remainder of the year. The combination of offense highlighted by Curtis Granderson‘s grand slam and a strong pitching effort from CC Sabathia is a formula they’ve had trouble manufacturing on a regular basis all season.
It has happened, but the Yankees need to take the next step and string a bunch of these types of games together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long winning streak but winning every six or seven out of ten for the next 40/50 games will create two things; the missing swagger for the team and a message to the rest of the league that this Yankees squad is going to be a contender on the field, not just on paper.
Sabathia was not at his best early on as he tossed over 70 pitches through the first three innings before settling down and doing what he does more often than not, give length and quality innings.
Casey Crosby became the third victim of the veteran Yankees when making his major league debut this season. The Yankees used patience at the plate to disrupt the youngster’s command. Crosby walked Derek Jeter, forcing in the first Yankees’ run of the game in the second inning. It was the fourth walk Crosby issued in the inning. Granderson came to the plate with two-outs and made Crosby pay, as he belted a 1-1 fastball just inside the right field foul pole for his 17th home run of the season.
The Yanks scored once each in the fourth and seventh innings and Alex Rodriguez ripped his eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the ninth, to give the Yankees the final margin of the victory. Joe Girardi used five relievers to close the game out. Clay Rapada caused some trouble in the bottom of the ninth loading the bases with one out which brought Miguel Cabrera to the plate. Girardi summoned closer Rafael Soriano to finish it off. He induced Cabrera into a 5-4-3 double play ending the game.
The victory kept the Yankees (28-23) 1.5 games back of first place, as the Tampa Bay Rays took over sole possession of first place from the Baltimore Orioles. At five games over .500 the Yankees have reached their high water mark for the second time in that department. The Tigers (24-28) slipped six games back of AL Central leader Chicago White Sox, who won their ninth straight game.
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