Prior to yesterday’s game, Jorge Posada had been in a 4-for-30 slump over his last nine games. However, Posada has appeared to put his slump behind him.
One day after belting a grand slam in Saturday’s win, Posada delivered an encore with a grand slam in New York’s 9-5 win over Houston Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Posada became the first Yankee to hit grand slams in consecutive games since Bill Dickey in 1937.
New York won for the sixth time in the last seven games. With Tampa Bay’s loss to Florida, the Yankees tied the Rays for first place in the AL East. Houston suffered a series sweep for the seventh time this season.
The Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth when Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, and Nick Swisher walked. Casey Daige came out of the Houston bullpen to relieve Gustavo Chacin and face Posada with the bases loaded and two outs.
Posada proceeded to deposit a pitch deep over the right field wall for his second grand slam in as many days to give the Yankees a 7-1 lead. It was also his ninth career grand slam. In his career against Houston, Posada is batting .444 (8-18) with four home runs and 13 RBI.
However, Houston immediately responded in the top of the sixth. With runners at second and third and two outs, Tommy Manzella fouled off five pitches before delivering a two-run single. Kevin Cash, who played in 10 games for the New York last season, followed with a two-run home run over the left field wall to cut the Yankees' lead to 7-5.
After Houston’s four-run rally in the top half of the inning, New York added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. With runners at first and second and one out, Swisher brought in a run with a run-scoring single. After Posada struck out, Brett Gardner added an RBI single to give New York a 9-5 advantage.
Phil Hughes (9-1) won his fourth consecutive start after allowing five runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings. He also struck out six and walked two. Four Yankee relievers combined to limit the Astros to only one hit over the final 3.1 innings.
Brian Moehler (0-3) suffered the loss after allowing four runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 4.2 innings.
Houston grabbed their first lead of the series in the top of the first. With runners at second and third and one out, Carlos Lee drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Hughes avoided further damage by striking out Cory Sullivan to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Robinson Cano put the Yankees on the scoreboard with his 13th home run of the season. Cano also became the 36th player with at least 100 home runs as a Yankee.
After Moehler struck out Nick Swisher for the second out of the fourth, the Yankees put together a two-out rally. Moehler walked three consecutive batters to bring Ramiro Pena to the plate with the bases loaded. Pena, who was starting at third base in place of Alex Rodriguez, delivered a two-run single to give New York a 3-1 lead.
After a Monday off day, New York will welcome Philadelphia to Yankee Stadium for a 2009 World Series rematch. Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96) will start for the Phillies, while the Yankees will counter with CC Sabathia (6-3, 4.01). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.