After Friday's rainout, the Yankees and Pirates were finally able to open up their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. Mark Teixeira his his 9th homerun of the season, and the Yankees in all knocked five balls out of the park in their 7-1 win over the Buccos on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.
David Phelps pitched a pretty sloppy game, with three walks on 100 pitches, but still managed to toss five shutout innings for his first win of the year, in his third start since moving to the rotation.
The Yankees have been playing better lately after ending a four-game losing streak on Wednesday with a Masahiro Tanaka shutout at Citi Field, and have now won three in a row to go back up three games above .500, and will head into Sunday with a chance to sweep the Pirates in Sunday's doubleheader.
Teixeira put the Yankees on the board quickly in the bottom of the 1st inning after Phelps worked around a Neil Walker walk in the top of the frame. His two-run dinger off Edison Volquez barley made it over the right field wall, but thankfully it did, and it put the Yanks up 2-0. Not only was it the 350th homerun of his career, but it was Teixeira's 8th homerun in his last 17 games. He's hotter than the sun right now.
Two innings later, Zoilo Almonte, playing in his first game since being called up last week, hit a total bomb to deep right field -- about 411 feet -- to make it a 3-0 game.
After Starling Marte put the Pirates on the board in the 6th inning with a solo homerun off Dellin Betances -- who struck out three more batters in two innings of work, giving two hits, one being the homer -- the Yankees added three more homeruns of their own.
First came Brett Gardner's solo shot off Volquez, his third of the season, then Alfonso Soriano hit one more solo homerun off Volquez in the 7th, extending the Yankees' lead to 5-1. The final blow came in the 8th when Brian McCann, who looks to be finally heating up at the plate, hit a two-run shot to officially put the game out of reach.
A little more on the pitching now. I didn't actually watch the game, but the box score suggests that things would have been a lot worse for Phelps, who permitted five hits and three walks, but no runs.
It seemed like Phelps was in trouble most innings, but still able to work his way out. He hit Marte to open the 2nd and than walked Ike Davis, but retired the next three batters. After Gaby Sanchez doubled with two outs in the 4th, Jordy Mercer singled to right, but Sanchez was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
In his final inning, he gave up a pair of singles to put runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out, Phelps, again, retired the next three to end the threat.
Betances took over in the 6th gave up the homerun to Marte to begin his outing, but battled back to strike out the side to end the inning. Adam Warren struck out two in a scoreless 8th inning, and Matt Daley closed out the game with a perfect 9th.
Box score notes: Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, and also scored a run ... Yangervis Solarte went hitless again, going 0-for-4, dropping his average to .315 ... Jacoby Ellsbury didn't play today because of flu-like symptoms ... the first five hitters in the Yankees' lineup collected at least one hit, so that's being productive.
Up next: The Yankees and Pirates will play a single-admission doubleheader on Sunday following Friday's rainout. Hiroki Kuroda will face Charlie Morton in the first game, at 1:05 pm, and about 30 minutes later, Vidal Nuno will take the ball to square off with Gerrit Cole.