If you had Brett Gardner hitting the first homerun of the season in the Yankees' sixth game, then you're probably lying. It took a while, but Gardner finally put the Yankees in the homerun column for 2014, hitting a two-run dinger in the 4th inning to help the Yankees defeat the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4, in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.
CC Sabathia made his second start of the season today, and he was looking very good through the fist five innings before giving up a three-spot to the Blue Jays in the 6th.
Just as they did in the first game of the series on Friday, the Yankees jumped out to a quick lead putting a few runs on the board in the 1st inning before their startin pitcher could even take the mound.
Gardner walked and stole second to open the game, then Derek Jeter grounded out to second base, moving Gardner over to third with only one-out. Batting third in the lineup today, Jacoby Ellsbury also grounded out to second base, scoring Gardner to put the Yanks up 1-0.
A Brian McCann walk and Alfonso Soriano hit-by-pitch put runenrs on 1st and 2nd with two outs, then Kelly Johnson picked up hit only hit of the day, sending a two-run double deep into the right-center field gap to cap off the three-run 1st inning.
That's when Sabathia came to the mound, trying to rebound from a very poor outing in his start of the year against the Houston Astros on Tuesday. He was greeted the same was Masahiro Tanaka was on Friday, by giving up a solo homerun to the first batter he faced, Melky Cabrera.
Cabrera had a greats series against the Yankees, hitting three homeruns in the three games. Two of them were solo homeruns to open the bottom of the 1st inning.
Sabathia gave up an infield single to the next batter he faced, by he didn't let that phase him. After getting to next three hitters out to end the inning, Sabathia only gave up one hit over the next four innings, before running into some trouble with two outs in the 6th.
He was able to retire the first two batters of the innings, but back-to-back singles by Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion put Toronto into a scoring position. Dioner Navarro doubles to bring home Bautista from second, then Erik Kratz singled to bring home both Encarnacion and Navarro, cutting the Yankees' lead to two.
He was done after six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, while striking out six and walking none.
It was Gardner's two-run homerun off of Drew Hutchinson that turned out to be the difference maker in this game. Brian Roberts walked and stole second to open the inning, then after Ichiro struck out, the red hot Yangervis Solarte hit his fourth double of the young season, a one-hopper over the wall to score Roberts. Then a batter later, Gardner ripped a linedrive homer over the right field wall, putting the Bombers up 6-1 at the time.
Adam Warren pitched a scoreless three up, three down 7th inning, and Shawn Kelley followed up with a scoreless 8th. Then came David Robertson out for the 9th, and he made things a little interesting by giving up a one-out single to Brett Lawrie and a walk to Adam Lind. He was able to get Colby Rasmus to pop-out to Solarte at 3rd base, then with a chance to do more damage against the Yankees, Cabrera hit a hard fly ball into right field, but right at Ichiro to end the game.
With the win, the Yankees are back at .500, 3-3, after six games this season. They'll head to the Bronx for their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 pm tomorrow. Hiroki Kuroda will get the ball for the Yanks.