In the bottom of the ninth, Ichiro Suzuki had a single, stolen base and run scored on a wild pitch by Brandon Workman, which gave the Yankees a big walk-off win against the Red Sox in the last game of the series. This 4-3 win came after three consecutive losses in which the Yankees scored eight or more runs against Boston.
Brett Gardner came close to giving Ichiro a Gatorade shower but might have decided not to as a result of their not being a walk-off hit.
Mariano Rivera came in for a rare two inning save because Joe Girardi had relievers including David Robertson and Boone Logan who were unavailable due to injury, and Rivera told Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild that he was available to pitch two innings if needed. Rivera is obviously the best option out of the bullpen so it makes sense that Giradrdi put him in when he did. He continued to struggle like he has recently, as the homer he gave up to Will Middlebrooks in the top of the ninth was the third earned run that he has allowed in his last three appearances. The Yankees were luckily able to get the win even though Rivera blew his seventh save of the season.
Hiroki Kuroda, who had allowed four runs or more in each of his past three starts, showed improvement this afternoon as he only allowed five hits and two runs in a solid six innings pitched. He had an ERA of 2.41 on August 17, but his ERA is now all the way up to 2.99. That is still very good ERA but it has taken him out of CY Young consideration. However, he was able to pitch out of trouble as his pitch count got high early in the game and was still able to give the team six innings.
Shawn Kelley, who had been suffering from triceps inflammation, came into the game in the seventh and was able to record his 10th hold of the season. He has been a great acquisition by Brian Cashman as he his a high amount of strikeouts and is limited most of his inherited runners from scoring. His scoreless inning with a strikeout is an improvement from his previous game on the first of the month when he gave up a two-run homer to the only batter he faced.
Mark Reynolds, who has a hit in four of his past five games, had a double to the warning track in center in the fourth that drove in Alex Rodriguez. The other standout on offense was none other than the best second baseman in baseball, Robinson Cano. In the fifth, Cano hit a double to left that scored Chris Stewart and Ichiro. That was one of his three hits during the contest. His two RBIs where his 96th and 97th of his stellar season.
As a result of the win by the Bronx Bombers and losses by the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians the Yankees are now half-a-game behind both of those teams in the wild-card standings. The Yankees are currently 2.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays with 19 games remaining. They will now play a crucial four-game series at Camden Yards against the Orioles.
The last time they played the Orioles, from August 30 to September 1, the Yankees won two out of three games. It is important to win three or four games so that they will be able to move closer to the Rays.