Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Athletics 2
June, 1, 2011
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: That this may not turn out to be such a bad road trip after all. After losing the first two games in Seattle, the Yankees have run off four straight, including a sweep here of the A's, who they outscored 19-5 over three games, and now hold a two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
What's good: A.J. Burnett, who won his first game in June since June 27, 2009, against the Mets. Burnett held the admittedly punchless A's lineup to three hits and just two runs in seven innings, both runs coming on Josh Willingham's two-run homer in the first. Burnett settled down after that and didn't allow another hit until Coco Crisp's triple with two out in the fifth. He struck out five, and walked only two. The bats were mostly quiet after Tuesday night's 10-run explosion but Derek Jeter (No. 2,984) and Alex Rodriguez matched first-inning doubles for the first run, and Nick Swisher's three-run homer in the fourth was all they needed. Mariano Rivera picked up his first save since, believe it or not, May 10.
What's not so good: Nothing worth complaining about. Curtis Granderson went 0-for-5, the bum. Joba Chamberlain was on the verge of getting in trouble after allowing two one-out singles, but got lucky when Conor Jackson lined back to him, starting an inning-ending DP.
What's next: A day off for the Yankees followed by a weekend in Anaheim for three games with the Los Angeles Angels. Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.67), who may be on the bubble after his bad start in Seattle last Saturday, pitches the opener against RHP Jered Weaver (6-4, 2.10) Friday night. CC Sabathia (6-3, 2.98) goes Saturday night against RHP Dan Haren (5-3, 2.29) and Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.26) faces RHP Ervin Santana (304, 4.34) in the finale of this nine-game, three-city, 10-day West Coast swing Sunday afternoon.