The Yankees jumped out to a 7-2 lead in Baltimore this afternoon, bouncing Daniel Cabrera in the fourth after he'd thrown 95 pitches. The problem was that Darrell Rasner wasn't much better, using up 98 pitches in 3 1/3 innings and leaving men on first and second for David Robertson, who needed just two pitches to allow both to score. In the fifth, Robertson left a man on for Edwar Ramirez, who needed just two pitches to allow a game-tying home run to Brian Roberts.
Robinson Cano broke the tie with a 425-foot homer to dead center off lefty Jamie Walker in the seventh and Jose Veras, Damaso Marte, and Mariano Rivera made it hold up as the Yankees won an 8-7 game that lasted a minute more than four hours.
Confusion follows Marte wherever he goes
After Brian Roberts singled of Veras to put the tying run on base in the eighth, Damaso Marte got two crucial outs by striking out Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora, then got the first two outs of the eighth, one of them a strikeout of Kevin Millar, before walking Luke Scott and giving way to Rivera. After the game, Marte revealed that he's been dealing with some inflammation in his elbow, but that after some rest (he'd pitched to just one batter since August 12, giving him nearly 11 days off) he's feeling much better. The elbow trouble supposedly dated back to his 42-pitch outing against the Rangers, which ended in Marlon Byrd's walk-off grand slam and was Marte's longest outing in terms of total pitches since August 2006. Of course, when questioned by Peter Abraham before the game Joe Girardi denied that Marte had any health issues. If Marte can build on today's "comeback" performance, he could have a huge impact on the remainder of the Yankees' season.
As for Rasner, he said he was disgusted with his performance and that it felt like he had never pitched before, while all concerned (Rasner, Girardi, and catcher Ivan Rodriguez) said he was simply leaving his pitches up in the zone.
Up in Toronto, the Red Sox won a 11-inning game that took just three hours and 42 minutes, while the White Sox beat the Rays at home in a tenth-inning walk-off set up by an interference call on a rundown and took over the lead in the Central with the Twins losing to the Angels. As a result, your Wild Card standings look like this heading into this week's showdown in the Bronx: