|N.Y. Yankees (93-67) «||0||9||0||0||0||0||0||1||x||10||13||0|
With record-tying power backing a superb start by CC Sabathia, the New York Yankees have first place all to themselves with two games to go and hope they'll have a real party before this series against the Boston Red Sox is over.
"There's a lot of teams that would love to be in our position right now," Teixeira said after the Yankees routed the Red Sox 10-2 on Monday night to open a one-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East. "You can count all of the things that have gone wrong but, hey, we're right here where we want to be. And if we keep winning, we'll be division champions and have a chance to make a run in the playoffs."
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New York (93-67), which clinched its 17th playoff berth in 18 years on Sunday, would ensure its 13th division title in 17 years by sweeping the three-game series against the Red Sox. Baltimore (92-68) lost 5-3 at Tampa Bay and dropped into second place, prompting cheers from the Yankee Stadium crowd of 45,478 when the final score was posted just before the ninth.
"That's what you want," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's what you hope that you have all the time when you're playing this game, that you can control your own destiny."
New York tied its record for home runs in an inning, achieving the feat for the third time. Sabathia (15-6), with perhaps his best changeup of the year, allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. Following a stretch of four shaky outings, he is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his past three.
"I'm just trying to relax and not overthrow," he said.
He reached 200 innings for the fifth consecutive year and stayed in for 103 pitches, with the Yankees wanting to rest their top relievers rather than take him out early. Girardi wouldn't say whether he would consider starting his ace on short rest Friday if New York fails to win the division and winds up in the new one-game, wild-card playoff.
"I'm not worried about Friday. I'm worried about today, and now that today is over I'm worried about tomorrow," Girardi said. "I think if you start thinking too far ahead, you can get yourself in a bad position."
Sabathia said he'll be ready Friday if needed.
"It's time to put up or shut up," he said. "I want the ball."
Cano homered leading off the second against Clay Buchholz (11-8), a drive off the blue facing below the glass-enclosed bar behind Monument Park in center, and hit a two-run double later in the inning. He kept checking for Baltimore's score.
"It's hard to avoid because it's right on the board," he said. "We don't need to worry about the Orioles or anybody else. We need to win."
Cano added another double in the fourth and has seven straight multihit games, raising his average to .308.
"When Robby gets on these streaks, there's no one better in baseball," Teixeira said. "It looked like he was playing Wiffle Ball out there, just flicking the ball all over the ballpark."
Granderson hit a two-run, second-deck home run to right and Martin followed with a solo shot off the top of the wall above the scoreboard in right-center, a drive upheld after a video review.
Teixeira, back in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 8 following his recovery from a strained left calf, greeted Alfredo Aceves with a two-run drive into the second deck in right. Nick Swisher nearly followed with another home run, hitting a foul drive deep down the right-field line before doubling.
Even slumping Alex Rodriguez got in on the offense, hitting a sacrifice fly to end a streak of 11 games without an RBI. He tied Stan Musial for fifth place on the career list at 1,950.
Starting what may be its final series under first-year manager Bobby Valentine, Boston has lost six in a row and 10 of 11, reaching 91 defeats for the first time since dropping 100 games in 1965. In what resembled a spring training lineup, the Red Sox started only two regular position players, Cody Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Six of the starters had uniform Nos. 50 or higher.
"You play the cards that you have," Valentine said. "That's all we have right now."
|In his return from injury, Mark Teixeira belts a home run during New York's nine-run second inning. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Pedro Ciriaco, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.286|
|Daniel Nava, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.247|
|Cody Ross, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.267|
|Mauro Gomez, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.275|
|Ryan Lavarnway, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.166|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||2||0||0||1||0||1||1||.224|
|Danny Valencia, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.190|
|Che-Hsuan Lin, CF||3||0||2||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Jose Iglesias, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.117|
|2B - Mauro Gomez (5, Sabathia)|
|HR - Daniel Nava (6, Sabathia)|
|SF - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4)|
|RBI - Daniel Nava (33), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (59)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Clay Buchholz (L,11-8)||1.2||6||8||8||2||2||3||4.56|
|Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 56-37, Alfredo Aceves 48-30, Pedro Beato 39-22, Andrew Miller 14-10, Andrew Bailey 25-20|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 1-2, Alfredo Aceves 5-1, Pedro Beato 3-2, Andrew Bailey 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 13, Alfredo Aceves 11, Pedro Beato 9, Andrew Miller 3, Andrew Bailey 5|
|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.316|
|a- Eduardo Nunez, PH-SS||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Ichiro Suzuki, LF-RF||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.284|
|b- Brett Gardner, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.310|
|Alex Rodriguez, DH||3||0||0||1||0||2||0||.268|
|c- Melky Mesa, PH-DH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||1.000|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||5||2||3||3||0||0||1||.308|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||3||1||1||2||1||1||0||.256|
|Chris Dickerson, LF-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.286|
|Nick Swisher, RF-1B||4||1||3||0||0||1||2||.268|
|Casey McGehee, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.217|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.228|
|Russell Martin, C||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.210|
|Chris Stewart, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.241|
|Eric Chavez, 3B||2||1||0||0||2||1||2||.282|
|a-singled for Jeter in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Suzuki in the 8th|
|c-singled for Rodriguez in the 8th|
|2B - Robinson Cano 2 (48, Buchholz, Aceves), Nick Swisher (35, Aceves)|
|HR - Robinson Cano (31, Buchholz), Mark Teixeira (24, Aceves), Curtis Granderson (41, Buchholz), Russell Martin (21, Buchholz)|
|SF - Alex Rodriguez (5)|
|RBI - Alex Rodriguez (57), Melky Mesa (1), Robinson Cano 3 (88), Mark Teixeira 2 (83), Curtis Granderson 2 (102), Russell Martin (53)|
|2-OUT RBI - Robinson Cano 2 (31), Mark Teixeira 2 (21)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|New York Yankees|
|CC Sabathia (W,15-6)||8||4||2||2||1||7||1||3.38|
|WP - CC Sabathia (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 103-69, Freddy Garcia 8-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 8-9, Freddy Garcia 2-0|
|Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 29, Freddy Garcia 3|
|Attendance - 45478|
|Game Time - 2:58|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Dale Scott|