In the rubber game of a three-game series, the New York Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics Thursday night by a score of 4-1.
Yankees' starting pitcher Andy Pettitte was superb coming off back-to-back mediocre outings. Pettitte threw a season high eight innings, and gave up one run on five hits. He issued one walk and fanned six.
In the bottom of the second inning, A's centerfielder Carlos Gonzalez knocked in Mark Ellis, giving Oakland a 1-0 cushion. Joe Blanton, who started for the A's, blanked the Yankee offense until the sixth inning.
In the top of the sixth with the bases chucked, Hideki Matsui slaughtered a Grand Slam home run, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Yesterday was also Matsui's 34th birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with a Grand Slam?
In the bottom of the ninth, New York brought in Mariano Rivera to close the game. Rivera recorded three outs and the Yankees took the series two games to one.
Pettitte got back on the winning track, and his season record is now 6-5. With the win, Pettitte is also now tied with Ron Guidry for fourth place on the Yankees' all-time wins list with 170.
Joe Blanton of the A's took the loss, and is now 3-9. The Yanks' Rivera recorded his 18th save this year.
With the series victory and interleague play starting up again, the Yankees will head down to Houston and visit Minute Maid Park and the Astros for the first time.
Tonight at 8:05, the Yankees will go with Joba Chamberlain (1-2, 2.67 ERA). Pitching for Houston is former Yankee Shawn Chacon (2-2, 4.96 ERA).