The Yanks looked they were going to waltz to another easy win in the early innings of last night's game. Darrell Rasner cruised through the first two frames, striking out four (three of them looking) and the Bombers plated three runs against Jake Peavy. However, Rasner struggled in the third, walking three, giving up two runs, and getting the final out on a drive to deep center with the bases loaded. That made a game out of it at 3-2 Yanks.
Alex Rodriguez killed a Jake Peavy pitch dead to make it 4-2 in the bottom of the inning, and the Yanks made Peavy work enough that, coming off an elbow injury, he was pulled after four innings and 93 pitches. The Yanks then added another run in the fifth against former Red Sock Bryan Corey when Rodriguez singled, stole second, and came around on a Jorge Posada single. Rasner walked five men in five innings after walking just three in his previous 42, and Edwar Ramirez came on to pitch the sixth and seventh. Ramirez set down the side in order in the sixth, striking out two, but with two outs in the seventh he gave back both insurance runs on back-to-back homers by Adrian Gonzalez and Brian Giles.
Homers were Edwar's big bugaboo in his major league debut last year, but he had only allowed one in his previous 29 innings this year in the majors and minors combined, so, despite the flashbacks, I'm willing to credit Gonzalez and Giles here. After all, they were the two guys I warned you about in my series preview. After the game, Joe Girardi brushed off those homers, both of which came on fastballs down and over the plate to the lefty batters. Of course, he also brushed off the leadoff homer Kyle Farnsworth gave up in the eighth despite the fact that Farnsworth is allowing 2.5 homers per nine innings on the season. To Farnsworth's credit, he had been homer free in his previous seven outings/innings, and on the year, just six of the batters he has faced who haven't homered have scored. The Farnsworth homer was the first in the major leagues by Padres prospect Chase Headley, who was called up before Tuesday night's game and got to play his natural position last night in place of the defensively inferior Kevin Kouzmanoff.
The other good news on that homer is that it was preceded by two more Yankee runs, the latter of which was driven in by Rodriguez, who led the Yankee charge with a 3-for-4 night. After Farnsworth's frame, the Yanks got Headley's run back on a Wilson Betemit double (Betemit was also 3 for 4, but made an error at first base in the first and was caught stealing in the sixth) and a Johnny Damon single (Johnny was 3 for 5 with a successful steal).
Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth and gave up a leadoff double to Edgar Gonzalez (the elder Gonzalez's second two-bagger of the night), but struck out Brian Giles and got the younger Gonzalez to hit a looper to Derek Jeter that doubled his big brother off second to seal the Yankees' 8-5 win.
In other news, Hideki Matsui had his left knee drained and hopes to avoid the disabled list, but almost certainly won't be in the lineup this afternoon as the Yankees go for their second straight sweep and seventh straight win.