Yanks Come Back Late to Win 5-4 vs. Jays
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
NEW YORK — The Yankees ensured that walk-off magic would be incorporated into the DNA of their new ballpark a couple of years ago. It was only a matter of time before some more seeped out.
After Curtis Granderson tied the game with a ninth-inning RBI single, Mark Teixeira made a winner of CC Sabathia as the Yankees toppled the Blue Jays, 5-4, in their final turn at bat on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
“It was great to do that in front of our home crowd,” said Teixeira, who slammed the game-winning hit off the glove of first baseman Juan Rivera. “We hadn’t done it too much this year, but to come back and get a big win for CC and the home fans was nice.”
The hit marked the Yankees’ second walk-off of 2011 and Teixeira’s first regular season walk-off as a Yankee; his other such moment in pinstripes has become regular programming for the highlight reel, coming in the ’09 American League Division Series against the Twins.
As the ninth inning progressed, it started to feel a little bit like that successful season again.
“We had a lot of come-from-behind wins in ’09, and we played extremely well here last year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We need to get back to that. That’s a real good win for us.”
With Toronto’s Frank Francisco sweating out a save opportunity, Jorge Posada ripped a one-out pinch-hit double to right-center, waking up the big Bronx ballpark with one swing.
“The fans were into it,” Posada said. “They were loud the whole game. As soon as we scored three [runs], I said, ‘We’ve got a chance to win the game.’”
It has been a rough year for Posada, fighting the Mendoza line at .183 as he tries to put a public spat with management into the rear-view mirror. But his teammates still count on the big hits.
“Sado has had so many big moments in this organization,” Sabathia said. “I think everybody is making a big deal out of everything he does now, but we kind of expect it out of him.”
After a groundout, Granderson connected with his fourth hit, shooting it past a diving attempt from Rivera.
Granderson stole second and Teixeira then scorched the game-winner into right field — quite a welcome turn of events on a night when it looked as though Sabathia might wind up a complete-game loser.
“I think it’s a statement of what this team’s philosophy is,” Granderson said. “You just keep battling, knowing that things are going to turn.”
Blue Jays manager John Farrell lamented wasting seven good innings from starter Ricky Romero, who held the Yankees to just Russell Martin’s third-inning homer.
“To their credit, Posada jump-started their offense in the ninth with that double,” Farrell said. “We just couldn’t close it out.”
Sabathia could, firing his first complete game of the season and his third as a Yankee, although the bats needed to hit up the bullpen for support.
Robinson Cano greeted Marc Rzepczynski with a well-struck double that chased home Granderson, and Martin followed with an RBI hit that brought in New York’s third run.
The Blue Jays got to Sabathia for four runs — all earned — on eight hits, but he was at his best late, as the lefty retired the final 16 to face him.
“They were swinging early in the count and all I wanted to do was throw strikes,” said Sabathia, who walked one and struck out three.
Corey Patterson knocked in a run with a third-inning RBI single, and Sabathia was touched up for a three-run fourth that could have been much worse.
Rivera doubled and scored on J.P. Arencibia’s RBI single, and Edwin Encarnacion’s one-out single drew Girardi out for a rare mid-inning visit.
Whatever Girardi said, it didn’t work. Rajai Davis ripped a run-scoring hit, and with runners at the corners, John McDonald dropped a well-placed sacrifice.
Teixeira made the right play on the bunt as Encarnacion raced home, firing accurately to Cano, but the ball flicked Cano’s glove for his fifth error this year.
“They didn’t hit the ball hard, but they look like line drives in the box score,” Sabathia said. “You need to continue to make pitches and just try to get outs.”
He wasn’t out of the woods yet, and what followed seemed like the turning point. A sacrifice and a five-pitch walk brought up Jose Bautista with the bases loaded.
Sabathia escaped by getting the Major League home run leader to ground into a fielder’s choice.
“CC pitched tough all night,” Martin said. “We mixed [Bautista] really well, never really gave him the same pattern. We really just made pitches to him and didn’t give him anything good to hit.”
Sabathia would be front and center as A.J. Burnett made the familiar charge through the dugout, rushing to slam a whipped cream-filled towel in Teixeira’s face moments after the final out.
He flashed a toothy grin, saying that the gleeful celebration is still the best part of those wild home comebacks. But for the Yankees, picking up their ace topped the pie-man’s exploits for the night.
“He deserved a win tonight,” Teixeira said. “That fourth inning was just a weird inning. After that, he really shut them down. He deserved for us to come back and get that win for him.”
|Rodriguez, Al, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.288|
|Nunez, E, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.278|