Yanks’ winning streak moves into double digits
The Yankees’ winning streak moved into double figures Monday night as they continued to beat National League East competition. Their 6-2 victory over the Braves at Yankee Stadium made it 10 in a row for the Bombers.
Things looked pretty grim for the Yankees over the first four innings in their first home game following the 6-0 trip through Atlanta and Washington. Not only were they trailing 2-0, but also they were hitless.
Braves lefthander Mike Minor entered the game with a 6.01 ERA, but he had pitched a good game against the Yanks last week at Turner Field before coming out of a 4-0 game one out into the eighth. That was the night Alex Rodriguez hit his 23rd career grand slam to tie Lou Gehrig’s major league record to start the Yankees on a comeback toward a 6-4 victory.
Minor was not involved in the decision, but he deserved a better fate. He seemed headed in that direction until the fifth inning when the Braves again lost the lead for good, and this time it was Minor’s fault.
Rodriguez started the rally with a line single to center, the Yankees’ first hit. A-Rod had been their only previous base runner on a leadoff walk in the fourth but he was erased in a double play. After a wild pitch and a walk to Robinson Cano, Minor got a strikeout by catching Andruw Jones looking.
Russell Martin, who was the designated hitter as Chris Stewart again was behind the plate for CC Sabathia, lined a ground-rule double down the left field line that scored Rodriguez. It was another milestone for A-Rod, his 1,860th run that pushed him past Mel Ott and into 11th place on the all-time list. Next up at No. 10 with 1,882 is another Hall of Fame outfielder, Tris Speaker.
A walk to Jayson Nix loaded the bases, which this season has not been all that favorable for the Yankees despite their five grand slams. When Stewart fouled out to first base for the second out, the Yankees’ batting average with the bags full dropped to .171.
But Derek Jeter raised it with a ground single through the middle that scored two runs and put the Yankees ahead. The Yankees kept it up on home runs by Mark Teixeira (No. 12) and Cano (No. 13), plus another RBI single by Jeter.
Sabathia pitched his first complete game of the season and 34th of his career and was in total control once his teammates got him the lead. He gave up seven hits, walked one batter and struck out 10 in raising his record to 9-3 with a 3.55 ERA.
The lefthander also improved on some other marks: he is 22-8 with a 3.04 ERA in 44 career inter-league starts, 34-13 with a 3.56 ERA in 63 career starts in the month of June and 30-9 with a 2.92 ERA in 53 career starts at the current Stadium.
The Yankee are 14-2 in June and have combined to outscore opponents, 83-38, and out-homer them, 25-9, with the rotation pitching to a 1.97 ERA. The Yankees have won 18 of their past 21 inter-league games dating back to last season, including 10 straight, the first time in franchise history that they have won that many consecutive games against teams with winning records.
This series marks the Braves’ first trip to the current Stadium, making them the 21st different opponent to play in the new yard. The Yankees are 16-5 in foes’ first games.