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Stop Hitting Home Runs! Yankees' Home Runs Beat Braves, 6-4

23rd career grand slam.
23rd career grand slam.

Damn the Yankees and their home runs. Everyone knows homers don't win games, small ball does.

For real now: The Yankee lineup had just two run-scoring hits on the night. But both went over the outfield fence and therefore accounted for all six runs.

CC Sabathia started off shaky, allowing three of the four Atlanta runs in the first inning on a Matt Diaz bases-loaded double. He settled down after that though, allowing a lone run from innings two through seven. And because he managed to stay in the game through seven, he ended up getting the win, improving his record to 8-3.

And it wasn't until the seventh that the lineup broke through. A couple singles and a walk set up a bases-loaded situation for Alex Rodriguez. He worked the count full and then pulled a fastball just over the left field wall to tie the game at four.*

* A-Rod also tied Lou Gehrig's career mark for grand slams with 23.

One pitching change and two batters later, Nick Swisher put the Yankees ahead with a two-run bomb over the right field wall. That was also the Play of the Game (+37%).

You've got to feel a little for Atlanta starter Mike Minor, who pitched a helluva game, holding the Yanks to one earned run through 7.1 innings on five hits and a walk. He had far from dominating stuff, averaging 89 MPH with his fastball, but he commanded all three of his pitches (curveball and changeup). Minor actually reminded me of Andy Pettitte, only with a smaller repertoire.

With the Mets beating the Rays 11-2, the Yankees have sole possession of first place. Niiiiice.

Hiroki Kuroda will try for the sweep against Tim Hudson tomorrow night.

Comment of the Game: bango31 for Michael Kay's expected broadcast of A-Rod's record-tying slam.