Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 3
July, 16, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
What it means: That teams that live by the home run, well ... live by the home run. The two most powerful teams in Major League Baseball face off in one of the most homer-happy parks in the country, and guess who comes out on top? The Yankees re-teach the Toronto Blue Jays one of the oldest lessons in the book: You don't slug with a slugger.
Down goes Frasor! Down goes Frasor! Raul Ibañez crushed a 3-1 pitch from Jason Frasor into the second deck in right with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to bust open a 2-2 game, his 12th homer of the season and the 10th grand slam of his career. Ibañez, who looked pitiful in spring training, now has one RBI for each of his 40 years, the same number of ribbies as Alex Rodriguez in 12 fewer games and nearly 100 fewer ABs.
Hughes-Phil outing: Phil Hughes bounced back from his sub-par effort against the Red Sox last Saturday to throw seven strong innings tonight, allowing just four hits and two runs, one on a home run by Adam Lind in the fourth inning. The HR was the 20th allowed by Hughes this season, tying him with teammate Ivan Nova and three others for second-most in MLB, but it was also the first he had allowed since June 20.
O Canada! Canadian Russell Martin showed Toronto the Bronx in the second inning, blasting a two-out shot -- on the ninth pitch of an epic at-bat -- into the lower right-field seats. It was Martin's first homer since June 10, when he hit two against the Mets.
Un-Wise: Dewayne Wise, inserted into the game as a defensive replacement for Ibañez, botched J. P. Arencibia's bloop single in the ninth, allowing Toronto's final run to score. But no matter; Rafael Soriano, pressed into emergency duty, got the final two outs to earn his 23rd save in 24 chances.
Stiff: Alex Rodriguez's neck, that is. A-Rod was switched from third base to DH just before game time after suffering what the Yankees called "a slight stiff neck'' following batting practice. Stiff neck notwithstanding, A-Rod stroked a double into the left-center gap in the third inning and scored on Robby Cano's double past a diving Jose Bautista.
Robby on a roll: Cano's third-inning RBI double extended his hitting streak to 19 games, a career high.
Robby on the spot: Cano also made the jaw-dropping play of the game, plucking the carom of a ball that glanced off Mark Teixeira's glove out of the air and firing to David Robertson to nip Colby Rasmus at first leading off the eighth inning.
Tex's two-step: Teixeira executed some fancy dance steps in trying to avoid a Frasor pitch that homed in on his right foot with runners at first and third in the eighth, but to no avail; he got hit by it, costing the Yankees a run when the ball skipped away from Arencibia. Had it missed Teixeira, A-Rod would have scored from third. Two batters later, it turned out not to matter when Ibañez cleared the wall, and the bases, with the game-winning grand slam.
Joey Rats! Jose Bautista, the second-leading HR hitter in MLB with 27, swung so hard in fouling a Robertson pitch deep into the left-field seats he wound up hurting himself, clutching at his left wrist after the swing and leaving the game. Ben Francisco completed Joey Bats' at-bat and worked out a walk.
Tomorrow: The return of CC Sabathia after three weeks on the disabled list with a left groin strain. Sabathia (9-3, 3.45) faces LHP Brett Cecil (2-1, 6.75) in the middle game of this three-game set, first pitch at 7:05 p.m.