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-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yankees rally in sixth to cap 9-1 homestand

(Originally posted for Baseball Digest)

The Yankees came from behind twice Sunday afternoon to defeat the Oakland Athletics 7-5 and cap a 9-1 homestand that saw the team reach 22 games over .500.

The A’s scored quickly against starter Sergio Mitre in the first inning.  Orlando Cabrera hit a one-out single and, after he stole scored, scored on Scott Hairston’s double.  Hairston would then score on catcher Kurt Suzuki’s single to give the A’s a 2-0 lead.

However, the Yankees came right back, scoring four in the bottom of the first inning.  Hideki Matsui hit a two-out RBI single to halve Oakland’s lead.  Two batters later, Robinson Cano cleared the bases with a three-run double into the gap.  He then overslid third and was tagged out.  Nevertheless, the Yankees had a 4-2 lead.

Oakland got one run back in the fourth inning on Mark Ellis’ sacrifice fly.  However, Mitre was able to escape further trouble by inducing a double play to end the threat.  This cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-3.

After giving up a leadoff single in the sixth inning, Mitre was pulled.  He gave up nine hits and four earned runs in 5+ innings, striking out one and walking none.  After retiring the first two batters he faced, Phil Coke gave up a two-run home run to Ellis to give Oakland a 5-4 lead.

The Yankees roared right back in the bottom half of the inning.  Melky Cabrera walked with one out and third baseman Cody Ransom doubled.  Derek Jeter followed with a two-run single to center to put the Yankees back ahead 6-5.  Jeter was picked off, but Johnny Damon doubled and was driven home by Mark Teixeira to give the Yankees another insurance run at 7-5.

Phil Hughes pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief before being bullpen for Brian Bruney when he ran into trouble.  Bruney struck out his only batter and was replaced by Mariano Rivera, who retired all four batters he faced.  The save was Rivera’s 29th of the year.

Boston lost their game this afternoon, so the Yankees are back on top of the AL East by 2.5 games.  The Yankees begin a three-game series in Tampa tomorrow night.


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