The Yankees have the worst luck this season. Both Francisco Cervelli and Ivan Nova left tonight's game by the third inning due to injury. Cervelli was hit in the hand behind the plate, just five pitches into the game, and Nova felt elbow pain in the middle of the top of the third inning. It was later announced that Cervelli will need surgery and could miss six weeks. Austin Romine was immediately pulled from his Triple-A game, so it can be assumed that he will be called up. It's a sad day when three Yankees could all wind up on the disabled list together, since Cervelli, Nova and the still inactive Kevin Youkilis will all need replacements.
The actual game kind of took a backseat once pitcher and catcher departed, but the scoring started in the top of the second inning when Edwin Encarnacion hit a home run. Melky Cabrera hit a single and was thrown out by replacement catcher Chris Stewart when he tried to steal second. Brett Lawrie's single would have scored another run, so Stewart bailed Nova out. The Yankees tied the game up immediately when Vernon Wells singled, Chris Stewart walked and Ichiro Suzuki hit an infield single off the glove of Brett Lawrie. Eduardo Nunez then grounded out and scored Wells to tie the game 1-1.
The Blue Jays would score again in the top of the third. Munenori Kawasaki was hit by a pitch, Rajai Davis singled and Ivan Nova was removed from the game. David Phelps came in and gave up a single to Colby Rasmus and Toronto, once again, had the lead. The inning ended on a strike him out throw him out double play to catch Davis going to third, so Stewart also bailed Phelps out too.
Thankfully, Aaron Laffey was unable to find the strike zone, as he walked Ben Francisco, Jayson Nix and Robinson Cano to load the bases. Unfortunately, the Yankees only managed to tie the game up again on a Vernon Wells sacrifice fly. The bottom of the fourth inning proved more fruitful when Eduardo Nunez was hit by a pitch and Lyle Overbay brought him in on a triple. He would then score on a wild pitch to make it a 4-2 game.
No one scored until the top of the sixth when Encarnacion hit his second home run of the night and his fifth in four games to make it a 4-3 game. In the seventh inning Robinson Cano hit a double, moved to third on a Vernon Wells groundout and scored on a passed ball to make it 5-3.
In the top of the eighth inning Jose Bautista hit a monster home run off David Robertson to make it a one run game, but Brett Gardner, of all people, answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a home run of his own to make it 6-4. Mariano Rivera came in and made it interesting by loading the bases, but he got out of the jam, secured the save and the win. Despite all the bad stuff, at least the Yankees got a win tonight.
Ivan started the game off well, striking out the first two batters of the game, but he ended up only going two innings, giving up two runs on four hits. He also gave up his first home run of the season to Encarnacion, which was likely to happen sooner or later. David Phelps came in for four innings of relief and, despite letting an inherited runner score, was shut down from then on, giving up only one run on two hits and two walks while amassing a total of nine strikeouts. Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless seventh inning, David Robertson gave up a home run to Jose Bautista in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera gave up three hits and got two strike outs in the ninth.
Gardner, Cano Wells (2), Ichiro, and Overbay all had hits, but it was the walks that actually did the most damage. The Toronto pitching staff gave up a total of ten base on balls as everyone but Nunez and Overbay walked at least once, while Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart and Travis Hafner all had two.