Thames right on time for Yanks

October, 10, 2010
10/10/10
2:39
AM ET
Marcus Thames said things came “full-circle” for him on Saturday night.

The Yankees drafted a 19-year-old Thames in 1996. Fifteen seasons and three teams later, Thames contributed to the team that drafted him in a big way with a home run in the Yankees’ ALDS-clinching win over the Twins.

“It feels great,” a champagne-soaked Thames said in the Yankees’ locker room. “We’re doing what we set out to do.”

Thames drilled a first-pitch fastball from Twins starter Brian Duensing over the wall in the bottom of the fourth to put the Yankees up, 4-0. The two-run shot scored Robinson Cano and proved to be the difference in the Yankees’ 6-1 win.

Thames and Lance Berkman have platooned at designated hitter in the playoffs with Thames in the lineup against lefties.

He went hitless in three at-bats in Game 1 and finished 2 for 4 in Game 3.

Thames will be a key factor if the Yankees face the Rangers in the ALCS as Texas features two left-handed starters in Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson.

But Thames wasn’t concerned about Texas on Saturday night.

He just wanted to soak in the Yankees’ series-clinching win. He’d watched the Bombers celebrate title after title while playing in the team’s minor league system. So Thames said it was satisfying to finally see it first-hand.

“As a youngster coming up in the system, you watch those guys and you want to get a taste of it,” Thames said. “It feels great.”

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.269 15 67 69
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .755
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135