(So much Pronk. Courtesy of the AP)
There were obviously far more important things going on in the US when the Yankees and Blue Jays took the field in Canada for the first game of their 3-game weekend series. But that didn't stop the Bombers from doing their job and it didn't stop them from putting a whooping on the new-look Jays in their first meeting of the season. They had Andy Pettitte back on the mound after an extended period of time off to recover from some back stiffness, and they had their regular lineup back on the field against right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow.
- They didn't waste any time getting to Morrow in the top of the 1st. A 1-out double-HBP-double sequence from Cano, Youkilis, and Hafner made it 1-0, and Vernon Wells chipped in an RBI groundout for another run.
- The Jays got 1 run back in the bottom half after a leadoff triple and RBI groundout by Melky Cabrera, but Pettitte was money after that, retiring 11 batters in a row through the 5th. He had a lively 4-seam fastball and a nasty slider going, and struck out 4 in a row at one point.
- He got plenty more help from his offense, starting with a Travis Hafner solo HR in the top of the 3rd and ending with an errant Colby Rasmus throw home that plated 2 more and made it a 5-1 Yankee lead.
- The onslaught continued in the top of the 6th. Lyle Overbay hit a 1-out solo HR and Francisco Cervelli hit a double to end Morrow's night, and Brett Gardner welcomed Brett Cecil to the game with an RBI triple of his own. One more RBI groundout tacked on and it was 8-1.
- Jose Bautista crushed a 2-run HR to center in the bottom half to make it 8-3, Pettitte's only really bad mistake of the night, but he still made it through 7+ innings on just 90 pitches, showing no signs of lingering back issues.
- Vernon Wells chipped in a solo shot of his own in the 7th and Shawn Kelley sloppily finished the game for Pettitte. Good start to the series if you're a Yankee fan.
- Hafner: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, 2 LOB. PROOOOOOOONK!!!!
- Pettitte: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. I'll take that kind of outing from Andy every day of the week and twice on Sunday (or Friday).
- Big Bats: Team combined to hit 6 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs. 10 of their 13 hits went for extra bases. So much for smallball.
- Youkilis: 0-4, 1 R, 1 K, 3 LOB. Scuffling a bit in his last 5 games after a really hot start.
Series continues this afternoon when Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Buehrle take the mound. How many runs can the Yanks manage to scratch across against another lefty?