The Yankees (36-30, one-game out of first place) had 15 hits in their 9-4 win over the Marlins on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. Two of those 15 hits came off of Alex Rodriguez’s bat, which now gives him 2,999 for his career.
The Yankees won their 15th come from behind game of the season. Rodriguez’s single in the first drove in Brett Gardner in for the first run of the game. He was very thankful when the fans cheered for him after each at-bat. “I think their support has helped me play a lot better.”
“He is a guy who we look to for guidance and we missed him last year,” Gardner said in reference to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez’s single in the fifth gave him 2,999 and it appeared that they would score a few runs that inning. Mark Teixeira doubled to right to advance Rodriguez to third, but Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran were retired by Mat Latos. The Marlins had a 5-1 lead at the end of the fifth as the Yankees were 1-9 with runners in scoring position at that point, but the offense really improved going forward.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a homer to left in the top of the sixth off of CC Sabathia in what was his major-league leading 25th home run.
In the sixth inning, Mason Williams (.263) hit his second double of the game and then was driven home when Brett Gardner hit a homer to right center. In the seventh inning, Carlos Beltran, who is hitting .316 in the last seven days and a solid .294 in May and June, hit a long two-run homer over the State Farm sign in left to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.
“Mason has made some nice little adjustments,” Girardi said about Williams’s performance at the plate.
In the eighth inning, the Yankees scored four runs to put the game away. Sam Dyson walked Rodriguez on four inside fastballs nearly hitting him, which put runners on first and second. The crowd booed Dyson because they wanted Rodriguez to have a chance at 3,000. McCann singled up the middle to score Chase Headley, Rodriguez’s then scored on Dyson’s wild pitch that went to the McDonald’s sign behind the plate and Chris Young doubled to deep left to score McCann.
With Vin Mizarro pitching, Stephen Drew, who was the only Yankee without a hit, hit a sacrifice fly to score Young for the team’s ninth run.
“We had a ton of opportunities early on and were just not able to cash in,” Joe Girardi said. “We were able to tack on four more so you don’t have to use Dellin tonight.”
CC Sabathia got the start for the Yankees and allowed three runs in six innings, while striking out seven and not walking anyone. He has now allowed three runs or less in three of his previous four starts. With Sabathia’s strikeout of Adeiny Hechevarria in the fourth, he passed Christy Mathewson for 30th place on the all-time strikeouts list.
He would have liked to have pitched seven innings, but he realizes that he can’t consistently pitch that deep into games anymore. Sabathia had a perfect game through three innings before Dee Gordon’s triple to lead off the fourth.
“It’s good,” Sabathia said. “I go out there as hard as hard I can until I am done. It is just frustrating for me that I can only give him six innings at a time.”
“He did a good job, to limit them to three runs against a team that hits well against lefties, he did a good job,” Girardi said.
Didi Gregorius made an outstanding play in the ninth when he dove past second to stop the ball and then flipped it behind his back for the force out at second. The Marlins tacked on a run in the ninth off of Chris Martin, but he would strikeout Gordon on a 94mph fastball to end the game.
After sweeping the two-game set against the Marlins, the Yankees will continue their homestand with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers (34-32). More people will be paying attention to tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game than normal because Rodriguez might get hit No. 3,000 against former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. Rodriguez has hit .357 (10-28) in the regular season against Verlander, who is making his second start of the season.