Anything less than a win tonight would have been a disappointment, but the Yankee bats and CC Sabathia wouldn't let it be so. The offense put up nine runs in the second inning against Clay Buccholz and Alfredo Aceves, including four home runs for the third time in the history of the franchise.
Robinson Cano got it started with a long home run to centerfield that hit off the restaurant at 446 feet. He's only the second person to accomplish that at The Stadium; the other was Russell Branyan. The next blast came off the bat of Curtis Granderson which also scored Nick Swisher. Russell Martin chipped in a solo shot and Mark Teixeira greeted Aceves with a two-run shot of his own after the pitching change. There was very nearly a fifth in the inning by Nick Swisher, but it landed just a few feet foul.
In addition to his homer, Cano doubled twice and drove in two more runs. He's now second in the league in extra base hits with 80. His hot streak is coming at just the right time for the Yankees. Swisher also reached base three times on two singles and a double. The final run would come during a great moment in the eighth inning when Melky Mesa singled to score Eduardo Nunez for his first big league hit and RBI. Eric Chavez yelled for him to make sure he touched the base from the dugout and he actually managed to do so this time.
Despite sitting around for what seemed like forever during the offensive outburst, CC Sabathia pitched eight strong innings, striking out seven and allowing only two runs. The hefty lefty reached 200 innings for the sixth straight time in his career. Freddy Garcia came on to close out the game, including a strike out of Ryan Lavarnway to end it.
With the Baltimore Orioles losing to the Tampa Bay Rays shortly before things went final in the Bronx, the Yankees' magic number to clinch the AL East is down to two games, which they could achieve as soon as tomorrow with a win and an Orioles loss tomorrow. They will send David Phelps to the mound against Jon Lester tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. to try to hold up their end of that equation.