Further evidence everything is going the Yankees' way — the production of the bottom of their patchword lineup in Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena.
The trio went 4-for-8 and accounted for all four runs in last night’s 4-1 win over the Orioles.
Cervelli did most of the heavy listing with a brilliant 3-for-3 performance. That included a triple, two singles, including an unexpected bunt base hit and that was on offense.
Defensively, he mad a highlight-reel catch hitting the railing of the Yankee dugout and still managing to maintain his balance.
Gardner played another flawless night in center field and drew a walk that opened the decisive fifth when the Yankees played small and pushed across two runs. Gardner led off the eighth with an infield single and scored the fourth run – almost knocking Jeter over after crossing the plate.
Pena did not have a hit or drive in a run but nonetheless still had a big play in the fifth when his sacrifice attempt was thrown away by Orioles starter Brian Matusz into right field. The miscue allowed Gardner to score the go-ahead run and Cervelli eventually came home on Alex Rodriguez’s bases-loaded walk and then Pena lifted a sacrifice.
First Cervelli had to survive a pair of foul line drives from A-Rod. He ducked out of the way, just the opposite of what he has done when called upon.
Last night, he was playing because Jorge Posada’s right calf was not well enough and the hope is three days off will do the trick. In the meantime, the veteran catcher will sit back and enjoy the show provided by Cervelli.
Starter A.J. Burnett has not had a chance to throw one of his celebration pies but the Yankees have plenty sources of enjoyment. The most significant one is starting pitching, which is now 14-4 with an 2.20 ERA after Burnett allowed one unearned run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Burnett improved to 4-0 for the first time in his career and pitched into the eighth in consecutive starts.
Jeter’s 443rd double in the first inning gave him third place on the Yankees’ all-time doubles list. It broke a tie with Don Mattingly.
A day after having his next start pushed back to Monday; Javier Vazquez seemed to take the news well. The more puzzling aspect is the disappearance of his velocity into the high 80s.
"I threw some good fastballs the other day,” Vazquez said. “I'll be okay. I'm sure the velocity will comeback."
The Yankees had good news to report on Chan Ho Park, who has missed nearly a month with a hamstring injury. Park will throw a bullpen session Friday in Boston after throwing off a half mound. If there are no problems, he could make some rehab appearances.
Greg Golson’s purpose is to give the Yankees another outfielder though manager Joe Girardi indicated he could make an occasional appearance against left-handed pitching.
Golson’s Yankee debut was as a defensive replacement in the eighth and he made a nice warning track catch of Miguel Tejada’s flyball that caused a sigh of relief from Burnett.
This year with Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Golson is hitting .308 (8-for-26) off southpaws and .226 off righties.