Four Yankee homeruns.
A great pitching effort by Yankees starter Andy Pettitte.
Solid performances by three relievers out of the Yankees bullpen, including a save by Mariano Rivera.
All add up to a 5-3 New York Yankees win over the Tampa Bay Rays, last night, at the new Yankee Stadium in the beautiful Bronx.
Oh, yeah, the victory also increased the Yankees lead to one full game over the second place Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
So, as of June 9, 2009, the standings in the AL East are as follows …
Yankees 34-23 .596 —
Red Sox 33-24 .579 1.0
Blue Jays 33-27 .550 2.5
Rays 29-33 .492 6.0
Orioles 24-33 .421 10.0
The Yankees now travel up to Boston to play the Red Sox in a very important three-game series at Fenway Park with “first place” on the line in the AL East.
Boston has won the first “five” games of the 2009 version of the Yankees vs. Red Sox “Season Within A Season” series; but, the Yankees hope to open up their lead in the AL East to “four” games with a sweep of the rival Sox.
Playoff baseball in June. It doesn’t get much better then that.
The Bronx Bombers are playing much better “ball” then the last time they played the Red Sox, and look to continue their solid play on the field at Fenway.
Homeruns by Mark Teixeira (#18 in the 1st); Nick Swisher (#12, two-run HR in the 2nd); Johnny Damon (#12 in the 6th); and, Derek Jeter (#8 in th 8th), accounted for all five Yankee runs, which was all the support Andy Pettitte needed to record his 6th win of the year.
The Yankees have now hit 92 total homeruns in the 57 games they played this year; and, with the four Yankee HR’s and one Rays homer hit in the game, there have now been a total of 105 homeruns hit in the 29 games at the new Yankee Stadium, so far.
Yes, the baseballs continue to travel far into the seats, soaring through the air, powered by the new “launching pad” at the new Stadium in the Bronx.
Pettitte (6-2) threw a solid six innings, allowing three runs (two earned); on five hits; three walks; and seven strikeouts.
The only trouble Andy had was in the top of the 4th inning, when the Rays tied the score 3-3 on a RBI single by Michel Hernandez that plated Ben Zobrist, who reached first on an Alex Rodriguez error; and, a two-run homer by Gabe Kapler.
Andy Sonnanstine (4-6) started for the Rays, and allowed all five Yankee runs in his seven innings of work, on six hits (including the four homers), two walks, and one strikeout.
After Pettitte completed his six innings on the mound, the Yankees bullpen took over and it was lights out the rest of the way.
Phil Hughes was very impressive pitching a scoreless 7th inning.
Phil Coke tossed a scoreless 8th inning.
And, “The Great Mariano” closed out this well-played Yankees victory, throwing a perfect 9th inning for his 14th save, preserving the Yanks 34th win of 2009.
It is a very nice view at the top of the AL East for all in the Yankees Universe.