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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 14, Indians 1

By Wallace Matthews

CLEVELAND -- When the Yankees hit the way they did tonight, it doesn't matter who bats where in their lineup, and when their starting pitchers perform the way Andy Pettitte did tonight, 14 runs are enough to win them a week's worth of games. The hitters crushed 18 hits, Pettitte dealt seven strong innings and after a miserable start, the Yankees are a .500 team at 4-4, and trending upward.

40-Year-Old Surgeon: The remarkable Pettitte did it again, stifling the Indians on just five hits, his only misstep being a solo HR by Asdrubal Cabrera leading off the sixth inning. Pettitte needed 97 pitches, none of them overpowering, but almost all of them precisely located, to navigate the seven innings; in two starts this season, Pettitte's ERA is 1.20.

Thunder Sticks: Suddenly, the bats are on fire. The offensive explosion continued into its third straight game with HRs by the red-hot Robinson Cano -- who incidentally should be hitting in the middle of the batting order -- Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis, Lyle Overbay and Brennan Boesch, a pinch-hit shot hitting for Travis Hafner in the eighth. Cano also had two doubles, a single and five RBI, and Brett Gardner, who led off the game with a double but was stranded at third, had a two-run single in the second and four hits overall. Even Overbay, who came in batting .174, had three hits, including his HR. Yankees have outscored opponents 32-7 over their past three games.

Bombers are back: The five HRs tonight gave the Yankees 15 in the first eight games of the season; last year's team, which led the majors with 245 HRs, had hit just 8 through the first eight games of 2012.

Outta Here: Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, who was BBQ-ed for seven runs on seven hits in just 3 1/3 innings, was ejected by HP umpire Jordan Baker after he plunked Youkilis following Ichiro's homer in the fourth. Strange timing, because Youkilis was the only Yankee Carrasco had been able to handle; he struck him out in two previous at-bats.

Bad News Brett: Brett Myers, who was supposed to be tomorrow's Indians starter, was pressed into service when Carrasco was ejected and went the final 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs and three home runs. Presumably, he now has tomorrow off.

What's coming: Blogs on Pettitte, the suddenly ferocious lineup and whatever else comes out of what is sure to be a happy postgame clubhouse.