(Welcome back, Eddie. Courtesy of the AP)
It was a day of shortstop returns today. Derek Jeter was returning to game action in his first MiL rehab game in Triple-A, and Eduardo Nunez made his return from the Major League DL when he started at shortstop and batted 8th today. He was back in support of Andy Pettitte, who was looking to keep the team's 5-game winning streak going and looking to add some consistency to his performance now that the rotation lost another arm in David Phelps earlier today. If he could get it, Joe would have also liked some length from Andy and a healthy cushion late to rest some of his key relievers. Neither of those things happened, but the Yanks still came out on the winning side.
- Tough start for Andy. He gave up a 2-run HR to Chris Davis with 2 outs in the top of the 1st and then another on an Alex Casilla RBI double in the 2nd. The fastball command wasn't there and Baltimore made him pay.
- The Yanks stayed in it thanks to 2 runs of their own in the 2nd. Travis Hafner walked to lead the inning off and a string of singles and a sac fly made it a 3-2 game.
- The hit parade continued against Chris Tillman in the bottom of the 5th. Another possibly ill-timed sac bunt (by Brett Gardner) was sandwiched between 4 singles to tie the game back up at 4. But the rally stalled when Hafner went down looking and Zoilo Almonte grounded out.
- The Yanks had the chance to come back and tie the game, and then take the lead in the 6th on an Eduardo Nunez RBI single, because of how well Andy settled down after the 4th. He gave up just 2 hits and no more runs into the 7th, and got a couple of big strikeouts of Davis and Markakis.
- Nunez's single was made possible by some effective smallball ahead of him. Lyle Overbay singled and moved to second on a sac bunt by Luis Cruz. I think they've been using the sac bunt way too much lately, but this time it worked.
- Tremendous job by the overworked bullpen to hold the lead and save the game. Shawn Kelly, David Robertson, and Mo combined for 2.1 IP of shutout ball with just 2 cheap hits and 4 strikeouts.