The Yankees had amassed nine hits in the first two games of the current series with the Indians. They had gone 0-10 with runners in scoring position. Tuesday night, they were silenced by yet another rookie making his major league debut. Now they had to face the Indians lone All-Star representative in Fausto Carmona.
Carmona had won his last three starts, two of those against the Rays, and had ten wins for a 42-58 team. He had had only one start shorter than five full innings the entire season. So, of course they pummeled Carmona into submission by the end of the third inning Wednesday.
The Yanks took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Mark Teixeira double and an Alex Rodriguez single up the middle. The Bombers kept Indians right fielder Shin Soo-Choo very busy in the second, as they laced three consecutive one-out singles (Curtis Granderson, Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner) and then a two-out two-RBI single by Teixeira, all to right.
The third inning featured a Cano double high off the wall in left, a Granderson RBI triple (making him 16-36 lifetime against Carmona), a Cervelli HBP and a Gardner RBI double to right. An RBI single by Nick Swisher finally knocked Carmona out after 2.2 IP, having surrendered ten hits and seven runs while throwing 73 pitches.
Meanwhile, Yankee starter A.J. Burnett, who had been 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA lifetime in Progressive Field, benefited from the early outburst. He scuffled a little bit throughout the game, but didn’t break. He allowed the leadoff man to reach base in each of the first five innings, and had at least one baserunner on in each of his seven frames, but got out of many innings with swinging Ks on nasty off-speed pitches.
After Robinson Cano mashed his 19th homer to make it 8-0 in the 4th inning, the rest of the game devolved into watching the Indian fans crowd onto the left field pavilion when A-Rod came up looking for homer #600.
Notes: Derek Jeter was the only Yankee starter to go hitless, though he did have one solid flyout to deep right. Other than that, he looked baffled on a couple of swinging strikeouts on off-speed pitches on the outside corner. Joba Chamberlain relieved Burnett in the 7th, and inexplicably tried to pickoff Andy Marte with the Indians down 8-0. Teixeira of course was not holding Marte on, and Chamberlain got nailed for a balk. Sergio Mitre, bypassed in the rotation in favor of Dustin Moseley tomorrow, pitched the final two innings, allowing a hit and a walk with three Ks. Rodriguez went 2-5, but didn’t threaten that elusive 600th homer at any point.