A-Rod’s bat and Andy Pettitte’s arm was basically all the Yankees needed on Monday, as they routed the Cleveland Indians, 11-2.
Pettitte pitched seven innings, allowed just one run, and earned his seventh win of the season, while Rodriguez belted a grand slam, and finished the game with six RBI’s.
The win helped the Yankees take three of four games from the Indians in the Bronx, and more importantly, helped New York gain ground on the Tampa Bay Rays, who have dropped six of their last ten games. New York currently stands two and a half games back of the Rays.
Alex Rodriguez set the tone for a huge day with a first inning RBI-single to center, which drove in his first run of the day. However, Cleveland responded with a homer from Jhonny Peralta, to tie the game.
The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Brett Gardner singled to center field.
Starter Matt Talbot got into trouble in the seventh inning, and he was replaced by reliever Chris Perez. With the bases loaded, and no where to put A-Rod, the Yankee third baseman unloaded the bases. Rodriguez hit his seventh homer of the season, and his 20th career grand slam.
The next batter, 2B Robinson Cano followed Rodriguez with his 11th home run of the season, and it was then a 7-1 game. Later in the 7th, a Francisco Cervelli sac-fly made it an 8-1 lead.
In the 8th, A-Rod would drive in another run on his third hit of the game, a double to center field. That made it a 9-1 game.
After Rodriguez, Cano would drive in another two runs, on an RBI-single off Indians 1B Matt Laporta.
The Indians would strike for one run in the 9th inning off of reliever Chan Ho Park, who pitched the final two innings once Pettitte was replaced.
Pettitte pitched another masterful performance in the win. Pettitte didn’t walk a batter, struck out five, and only surrendered four hits in his seven innings of work. He earned his seventh win of the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.48.
After the four game series, the Yankees open up the month of June with a three game series with the last place Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees follow that with a trip to Toronto and then a three game series in Baltimore.
New York will send struggling starter Javier Vazquez (3-5, 6.86) to the mound. He will face off against Baltimore’s struggling young lefthander, Brian Matusz (2-5, 5.76). The game is set for 7:05 ET. at Yankee Stadium.
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