The Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in the third game of the four game series. The Yankees have now won four of their past five games and have won two of the first three games in the series. This game was unusual because the Yankees were able to get the win even though they committed four errors.
Since the All-Star break the Yankees have gone 12-7 and part of the reason for that is that they have hit the most homers (24) in baseball since then. In Wednesday’s game against the Tigers, Chase Headley hit a homer in the fifth and Brian McCann hit his 13th homer of the season in the seventh. That McCann homer put the Yankees up 2-1, and they would add three insurance runs after that.
Justin Verlander had the edge in career achievements over Chris Capuano, as Verlander won the Cy Young as the leagues best pitcher in 2011, but Capuano out-pitched Verlander as he allowed zero earned runs to Verlander’s two. Capuano, who is pitching for his third team this season, had eight strikeouts, only one walk and changed his speeds very well as a result of an excellent change up. Capuano’s unearned run came in the first inning after an error by Derek Jeter allowed Rajai Davis to score on a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly.
McCann did a great job calling the game,” Capuano said. He also credited him for his improved offensive play. “McCann has been working hard on his hitting and it’s showed.” McCann is now on a four-game hitting streak and has four RBIs in those games.
The Yankees had a chance to score their first run in the fourth, but Carlos Beltran struck out with runners on first and second. However, before this game, he was hitting .364 since the All-Star break, which is important because he is critical to the offense performing well.
Capuano made the team’s second error in the fifth inning on an Ezequiel Carrera bunt but it was not costly since Capuano got Davis and Ian Kinsler to ground out to end the inning. Yankees pitching was able to get out of trouble once again in the eighth inning. Stephen Drew made a fielding error on Victor Martinez’s grounder causing him to get to first, and then Drew’s throwing error led to Miguel Cabrera advancing to third.
However, with runners on first and third, Adam Warren was able to strike out J.D. Martinez on a high 96 MPH fastball and then get Nick Castellanos to fly out to right to prevent any runs from scoring. Warren was able to get his first win since April 27 and lower his ERA to 3.20 after 1.1 scoreless innings. David Huff had his fifth consecutive scoreless appearance after pitching a perfect a ninth inning.
The Yankees scored two more runs in the eighth, but their best slugger suffered yet another injury. With Blaine Hardy in the game in relief of Verlander, Brett Gardner led off the inning with a single and he would advance to second on Ellsbury’s walk. Mark Teixeira’s single to left scored Gardner. That was Teixeira’s team-leading 52nd run batted in of the campaign.
Beltran’s single to center loaded the bases as Teixeira advanced to second and Ellsbury to third. On the next play, Beltran was out at second on McCann’s ground out, but Ellsbury scored and then Teixeira would just barely get his hand on home plate after Andrew Romine’s throwing error. Teixeira needed three stitches after the game as a result of his hand getting caught under catcher Bryan Holaday’s cleat.
He had to make an outstanding slide to get his hand in there, but he really has had a hard time avoiding injury this year. The good news is that he his x-ray came back negative on his pinky. Before seeing Teixeira today, Girardi knew it would be a day or two for Teixeira. “He’ll be day-to-day,” Girardi said. “I have not seen him yet today. But he’ll be day-to-day, and we’ll see how many days he needs here.”
Teixeira has missed games this season with a strained hamstring, wrist soreness, a hurt knee, weak legs, strained oblique and light-headedness. Teixeira will likely be out a few days, and until then, Ichiro Suzuki will be playing in right, Chase Headley will play first and Marin Prado will play third.
Jeter was 1-4 in Wednesday’s game and with that hit he is now only one more hit away from tying Honus Wagner for the sixth most hits in baseball history.
With the Yankees win and the win by the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees are still one game behind them for the second Wild-Card. Today’s series finale at 1:05 p.m. will be a matchup between rookie Shane Greene and Rick Porcello, who is from Morristown, New Jersey. Greene has struggled a little after allowing zero and two runs in his first two starts, but has shown that he is able to get big outs.
Michael Pineda, who appears ready to rejoin the rotation next week, would likely replace Greene in the rotation. He could also replace Phelps when his turn comes around again next week. After not allowing a run in 3.1 innings, Pineda will get his second rehab start tomorrow for Scranton, and he could return on August 13 at Baltimore.