The New York Yankees continued to roll on their drive towards first place in the AL East by winning their ninth straight game, a 7-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, completing a three-game sweep of the O’s.
This sweep followed a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the past weekend, and victories in the final two games against the Blue Jays in Toronto before the Twins series, increasing the Yankees record to 24-17, placing the Bronx Bombers in a virtual three way tie for first with the Blue Jays (27-17), and Red Sox (25-16).
After a scary top of the first inning when Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain was knocked out of the game by a hard line drive off his right knee by Adam Jones, the Yankees exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first on a lead off double by Derek Jeter; a RBI double by Robinson Cano; a RBI double by Mark Teixeira; and, a two-out, two RBI double by Melky Cabrera that scored Tex and Nick Swisher, who walked, for the early 4-0 lead.
Robinson Cano (3-for-4) blasted a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead; and, after the O’s scored a run in the top of the 5th, Hideki Matsui hit a homerun in the bottom of the 5th inning, that completed the scoring for the Yankees, and gave the Bombers a 7-1 lead at the time.
Thank God the X-rays of Joba Chamberlain’s knee were negative; and, Joba said, he was “100 percent confident” that he would make his next start against the Rangers in Texas on Tuesday.
Alfredo Aceves (3-0) replaced Joba, and pitched brilliantly over 3.1 innings of work to earn the victory in this game.
The Orioles scored two more runs in the top of the 6th, and another run in the 7th, all off Jonathan Albaladejo, who, to say the least, was not effective [at all] in his 2.1 innings out of the bullpen, as he allowed all four Oriole runs.
With the score now 7-4, Jose Veras built the bridge to Mariano Rivera who closed out the Yankees victory with a scoreless 9th inning, recording his ninth save of the year.
The Yankees open a big three-game series this Memorial Day Weekend against the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, starting Friday night, May 22, 2009, with A.J. Burnett (2-1) on the mound for the Yanks against Brett Myers (3-2) for the Phillies.