Rapid Reaction: Yankees 8, Orioles 5
September, 7, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees are again alone atop the American League East, a game up on the Orioles with 24 to go.
MARTIN & PEARCE ARE FIERCE: The Yankees are trying to avoid this titanic slide, and so who does their offense turn to during their time of need? Russell Martin and Steve Pearce, of course. In the fourth, Wei-Yin Chen created his own mess, hitting Nick Swisher and walking Robinson Cano to set up Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees were thinking, "Here we go." A-Rod struck out.
No problem, though, as Martin, batting fifth for the third time this season, took care of things, hitting a long homer and watching in the box for a little while. It was his 16th of the year, which, at the time, was one more than A-Rod in 19 fewer at-bats. Shortly after, Pearce went yard for a two-run homer that evaded left fielder Nate McLouth. A couple of pesky Yankees fans seemed to be the ones offering interference. It was Pearce's first homer as a Yankee.
NO. 300: A-Rod didn't come through in the fourth, but he hit a bomb of a homer, a two-run shot, in the fifth -- his first since coming off the DL. Might be a good sign for him.
HUGHES-FUL: You want a key to Phil Hughes' start, go right to the first inning. In the first, after allowing a one-out single and double, Hughes got Adam Jones to pop out to Cano in short center and Matt Wieters to fly out to center. He put up zeroes until the sixth when he gave up his obligatory homer, a three-run shot that made things interesting. Joe Girardi took him out after the sixth, which seemed like the right move at the time.
MAKING IT INTERESTING: Cody Eppley began the seventh and promptly allowed a solo shot to No. 9 hitter Robert Andino. It was his second homer in as many days.
COMEBACK: A day after blowing the game, David Robertson took care of the two hitters he faced in the eighth. Boone Logan also pitched well, retiring the three batters he faced.
HIT MACHINE: Derek Jeter had three more singles, bringing his MLB-leading number to 186.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: I will be writing a column on the Yankees' old-school victory. You can catch me on ESPN New York 98.7 FM during the midnight hour with Bill Daughtry and then on the overnight with Robin Lundberg. Check your local listings for that one.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: Is Martin starting to change your mind on his season?