Mark Teixeira drove in five runs and Russell Martin took care of the last one to seal a win for the Yankees in their first game of the second half. Tex's two-run homer off C.J. Wilson put the Yankees ahead in the third inning and his three-run shot tied the game in the bottom of the eighth at five a piece.
Nick Swisher worked a walk that knocked Scott Downs out of the game before being replaced by DeWayne Wise on the bases.The speedy Wise stole second, leaving first base open for an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez in favor of the struggling Russell Martin, but Martin singled down the right field line with Wise scoring the go-ahead run.
Homers were also an issue for Hiroki Kuroda, who gave up a solo shot to Erick Aybar and a three-run bomb to Mark Trumbo in his 7.1 innings of work. Kuroda struck out six and allowed five runs, with the only other run coming by way of Mike Trout scoring on an Albert Pujols flare to right after a double and a stolen base. Joe Girardi sent in Chad Qualls to finish the inning and Rafael Soriano came on for the save and the customary shirt untucking.
The RISP situation didn't magically resolve itself over the break, as a Curtis Granderson leadoff triple was wasted in spectacularly frustrating fashion. It's easier to deal with that kind of thing during games that ultimately result in a win, if only because you figure it can't go on forever. Hopefully.
In addition to driving in the game-winning run, Martin had a very impressive night defensively, throwing out Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo on botched hit-and-runs earlier in the game, and managing to chase down a ball that got away from him in the 9th inning to nail Howie Kendrick at second base to end the game. He hasn't done much at the plate this season, but tonight was certainly a glimpse of his revered defense.
Games like these are hard evidence that the Yankees can make fans look foolish for thinking they are out of a game before it's over. When a good chunk of the players are in scoring position when they step into the batter's box, it's difficult to justify counting them out until there are just no outs left.
Freddy Garcia heads to the hill against Jerome Williams tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.