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Rapid Reaction: Yankees 9, Indians 2

7/6/2011

What it means: That our long national nightmare --The Captain's Quest for 3K -- is almost over.

What's good: Derek Jeter had two hits, a dribbler to third and a laser to left-center, to draw within four hits of 3,000. Jeter's two-run double in the second gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Curtis Granderson had two home runs, giving him 25 for the season and tying him with Mark Teixeira for second behind Jose Bautista (27). Granderson has three home runs in his past two games. CC Sabathia (12-4, 2.90 ERA) pitched seven shutout innings, allowed five hits and struck out 11, including striking out the side in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Jorge Posada, playing first while Teixeira enjoyed a DH day, made a nifty scoop of Jeter's bounce throw to complete a sparkler of a 6-3 to end the sixth. Posada also had two hits, including a ringing double. In fact, every one of the Yankees' starters except Francisco Cervelli had at least two hits; their 17 hits were the second-highest total of the season. They had 18 versus Cleveland on June 12.

What's not so good: The fact that Mariano Rivera was unavailable for the second straight night with soreness in his right triceps. Luckily, his services were not needed in this blowout. Lance Pendleton, asked to mop up the last two innings, nibbled his way through the ninth (single, two walks, two sac flys) and allowed the Indians to get on the board.

What's next: Phil Hughes (0-1, 13.94), out since April 15 with a dislocated fastball --er, check that, "right shoulder inflammation'' -- makes his first start since April 14, when he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings to the Orioles, facing RHP Justin Masterson (6-6, 2.85) in the series finale with the Indians. First pitch at 7:05 p.m. ET.