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Yankees win rubber game at Saint Louis 7-4

A recap of Wednesday?s rubber game is followed by notes highlighting the set?s first two contests. At Busch Stadium on Wednesday night, the Yankees? roller coaster nine-game road trip ended with some excitement and an exhale. New York (28-24) built a 7-0 lead against Cardinals? RHP Shelby Miller and withstood a methodical rally from Saint [?]

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

At Busch Stadium on Wednesday night, the Yankees’ roller coaster nine-game road trip ended with some excitement and an exhale. New York (28-24) built a 7-0 lead against Cardinals’ RHP Shelby Miller and withstood a methodical rally from Saint Louis (29-24) for a 7-4 triumph. The second placed Bombers trail the surging Toronto Blue Jays (32-22) by three games in the AL East.

The Yankees began to square up Miller (6-4; 3.94 ERA), who entered the game 3-1 with a solid 2.19 ERA at home this season, in the third inning. RBI singles by CF Jacoby Ellsbury and C John Ryan Murphy afforded the visitors a 3-0 lead, and RF Ichiro Suzuki brought home a fourth run on a groundout.

New York continued to knock Miller around in the fourth inning. A three-run rally was highlighted by Ellsbury’s second key hit of the night, a two-run single.

Yankees’ RHP Hiroki Kuroda wasn’t dominant, but he prevented the Cardinals from attaining a backbreaking hit. Kuroda (4-3; 4.57 ERA) surrendered three runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings.

Kuroda’s composure following a second-inning error by SS Brendan Ryan, which put runners at the corners with only one out, was significant. With the contest still scoreless, Kuroda escaped trouble unscathed with a 5-2 putout and a strikeout.

Pitchers for both clubs struggled to field their position. With one on and one out in the sixth inning, Kuroda dropped a low liner off the bat of PH Jhonny Peralta and lost a double play, which would have ended the inning. 3B Matt Carpenter made Kuroda pay, ending the pitcher’s night with a RBI double. Additionally, Yankees’ LHP Matt Thornton and Cardinals’ RHPs Seth Maness and Jason Motte failed to field comebackers, though only Maness was charged with an error.

The Cardinals scored one run apiece in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to pull to within 7-3.

LHP Randy Choate escaped a bases loaded jam with no outs in the eighth inning to give the Cardinals further hope of a comeback.

Saint Louis scored a run in the bottom of the eighth and brought the tying run to the plate with no outs in the ninth. However, Yankees’ RHP David Robertson, who was called on to get four outs in what was a non-save situation, struck out the final three batters to end the contest.

Notes:

1. 1B Mark Teixeira missed his third consecutive game with stiffness in his right wrist. He will undergo precautionary tests on Thursday.

2. Normally New York’s catcher, Brian McCann made his first career start at first base in place of Teixeira.

3. After going hitless in nine at bats with runners in scoring position in Tuesday night’s loss, the Yankees collected four hits in nine such at bats (.444) on Wednesday.

4. The Cardinals had runners on base in each of the final eight innings but managed only three hits in 15 at bats (.200) with men in scoring position.

Monday: Yankees 6 Cardinals 4 (12 Innings)

1. The Yankees entered the game with a 19-15 all-time record against the Cardinals including World Series play. The franchises hadn’t met since Saint Louis won two of three against the Bombers at the old Busch Stadium from June 10-12, 2005.

2. The win was the Yankees’ fourth extra-inning triumph in as many attempts on the road this season, including their third such victory on this nine-game road trip. New York is 4-1 overall in extra innings this season.

3. The Yankees won the game with a three-run 12th inning against Choate. The rally wasn’t particularly loud, but it was productive. Ellsbury led off with a walk, McCann was hit by a pitch, and 3B Yangervis Solarte sacrificed the runners to second and third. After Suzuki was intentionally walked to load the bases, 2B Brian Roberts came through with a RBI single, which afforded the visitors a 4-3 lead.

Roberts’ knock ended the night for Choate (0-2; 7.71 ERA), but the Yankees weren’t done scoring. Against Motte, PH Alfonso Soriano hit a sacrifice fly, and 1B Brendan Ryan brought home New York’s final run with a single to left field.

4. Robertson earned his 11th save in 12 chances this season despite surrendering an unearned run in the bottom of the 12th inning. SS Derek Jeter began the inning with a throwing error.

5. The starting pitching was solid for both teams. Making his third major league start, RHP Chase Whitley surrendered three runs on eight hits and one hit batter over a career-high five-plus innings for the Yankees. RHP Michael Wacha gave up three runs on four hits and two walks over seven frames for the Cardinals.

6. Featuring a fastball that reached 100 miles-per-hour, RHP Dellin Betances struck out two over as many perfect innings. Betances demonstrated poise by retiring RF Allen Craig when the outfielder began the ninth with a 10-pitch at bat.

7. LF Brett Gardner had an eventful game. After scoring the contest’s first run in the opening frame, Gardner drove in New York’s third tally with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

Gardner was caught stealing for the first time in 12 attempts this season when C Yadier Molina nabbed him for the second out of the eighth inning. RHP Carlos Martinez had limited Gardner’s lead by throwing to first base; Gardner was nearly picked off twice during this sequence.

Gardner perhaps saved the game for the Yankees with his defense. With one on and one out in the 11th, Molina launched a fly ball to deep left field. Gardner raced back and made the catch at the top of the wall, maybe stealing the winning dinger.

8. RHP Alfredo Aceves pitched two scoreless innings despite allowing the leadoff batter to reach in both frames. The Yankees played strong defense behind Aceves (1-2; 5.28 ERA). Ryan started a 3-6 double play to end the 10th inning, and Gardner robbed Molina in the 11th inning.

Tuesday: Cardinals 6 Yankees 0

1. RHP Lance Lynn fired a complete game five-hit shutout for the Cardinals; he walked three and struck out two.

The loss was the Yankees’ second shutout defeat of the season. New York lost by 4-0 at Toronto on April 5.

The Yankees hadn’t been on the losing end of a complete game shutout since July 27 of last season, when RHP Chris Archer went the distance in a 1-0 Tampa Bay victory at Yankee Stadium.

Lynn (6-2; 3.12 ERA) became the first National League pitcher since Philadelphia Phillies’ RHP Mike Grace on Sept. 2, 1997 to earn a complete game shutout against the Yankees during regular season play. Interestingly, Grace’s shutout was the third thrown against the Yankees by a National League pitcher in 1997; Mets’ RHP Dave Mlicki and Braves’ RHP Greg Maddux had previously blanked the Bombers in that inaugural season of interleague play.

2. RHP David Phelps pitched fairly well for the Yankees but received little help from his defense. Errors by 1B Kelly Johnson and Roberts allowed a pair of unearned runs to score during a four-run third frame for the home team.

Phelps (1-2; 3.38 ERA) surrendered five runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits and two walks over six innings.

3. The Yankees struggled in the clutch, finishing 0-9 with runners in scoring position. The biggest missed opportunity came in the second inning, when, in a scoreless game, New York wasted a leadoff double by McCann.

4. New York escaped the bottom of the fourth inning when a grounder by 1B Matt Adams struck a base runner, LF Matt Holliday. By rule, Holliday was out, though Adams received credit for a hit.

After an off day on Thursday, the Yankees will return home to play the Minnesota Twins.

Published with permission from One Jet at a Time.

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