The Yanks scored three runs against Justin Verlander in the first two innings tonight and made him work plenty. But they also ran into two outs on the bases and so although they made Verlander throw 50 pitches he regrouped and went six innings without allowing another run. Bartolo Colon was solid again but gave up two solo home runs to Alex Avila and the score was tied at three after 7 full.
Let’s cut to the chase. Curtis Granderson led off the ninth with a walk against Jose Valverde and then looked to have second base stolen. But he wiped out, over-slid the bag and was tagged out, a strange, ugly play that went against the Yanks. Valverde gestured wildly as is his wont and then walked Mark Teixeira. Alex Rodriguez, who is slumping, fouled off the first pitch he saw, a good pitch to hit and a good swing. Fouled off another pitch, took a ball and then topped a little grounder to third. Brandon Inge charged, the ball stayed down, and Rodriguez reached with an infield hit.
Nick Swisher worked the count even at 2-2 and then lined a single up the middle. Teixeira came home, narrowly beating the throw and the Yanks had the lead again. Jorge Posada, who singled home two runs in the first, whiffed on a full count fastball out of the zone. Russell Martin was next and got ahead 2-0 before Valverde air-mailed a ball that went off Avila’s glove. Rodriguez scored standing up, and although Martin popped out to center to end the frame, Valverde was dancing no more.
Enter Mo. Vintage like so: Broken bat ground out to second; ground ball to third, Rodriguez with a strong, true throw; strikeout. Nine pitches, eleventh save of the season.
Swisher slapping fives with vigor, seventh-straight loss for the Tigers.
Final Score: Yanks 5, Tigers 3.
Happiness in the Boogie Down.