Yankees-Indians: New York Takes Series Behind Joba, Swisher
The game was tied at 1-1 in the top of the seventh, but the Bronx Bombers took the lead with four runs in the inning.
Nick Swisher started the Yanks with a double to score Ramiro Pena and Brett Gardner. Alex Rodriguez later followed him with a two-run single to score Derek Jeter and Swisher, giving the Yanks a 5-1 edge.
“I just got a good fastball to hit,” Swisher told the YES network.
“We’ve been getting dominant pitching, they have some good bats over there, and for us to hold them down for three games in their place is a good thing.”
The Yankees scored their first run in the game in the top of the third when Swisher grounded into a double play allowing Gardner to score.
The Indians could not generate enough offense and were held to only two runs in the game.
Victor Martinez blasted his eighth homer of the year in the bottom of the fourth, a solo shot into the right field seats to put Cleveland on the board.
In the bottom of the seventh, Mark DeRosa grounded out to short allowing Shin-Soo Choo to cross the plate.
Joba Chamberlain took the hill for the Yankees, and turned in the longest outing of his career.
He tossed eight innings, and gave up two earned runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out five.
“He was great tonight and he used all his pitches,” Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said of his starter.
“His fastball was good, his slider was good, and everything seemed to be on time tonight.”
Chamberlain was also given the opportunity to showcase his athleticism on the mound.
In the bottom of the fifth, with runners on first and second with nobody out, Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach attempted a bunt, but popped it up in front of the mound toward the third base side.
Chamberlain dashed off the mound and dove for the ball, catching it and then doubling up Ryan Garko at second base for a game-saving play. He then utilized his patented “fist pump” after completing the play.
“I saw the bunt go up, and I knew I caught it right away,” Chamberlain said about his magnificent double play.
“I didn’t know where the runner was but I got my bearings right away and turned it.”
Girardi was almost at a loss for words after the dive and double play.
“It was quite a belly flop!” Girardi said of Chamberlain’s brilliant double play.
“It changed the game. They had a chance, and as it happened, it was a huge play and it was interesting.”
Chamberlain earned the win and is now 3-1 in 2009.
Cleveland reliever Greg Aquino takes the loss. His record is now 1-1.
Mariano Rivera nailed down his 11th save of the season.
The Yankees finished their seven game road trip with a record of 5-2, and have not committed an error in 18 straight games, breaking the record of 17 consecutive games set by the 2006 Boston Red Sox.
With the road trip over, the Bombers will now return home to Yankee Stadium to face the Texas Rangers tomorrow night.
Girardi sent tomorrow’s starter A.J. Burnett (3-2, 4.78 ERA) back to New York before the start of tonight’s game. He will square off with Vicente Padilla (3-2, 4.71 ERA).
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