This Ivan Nova making a few more appearances down the stretch would be nice.
The righty made his return from the DL, going six innings, giving up two earned runs in a performance that was much more reminiscent of 2011 Nova than his 2012 self. He went through the first five innings with relative ease, with eight strikeouts, before coming undone a bit in the sixth and seventh.
The Yankees opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Curtis Granderson continued his hot hitting from the past few games, hitting a two run home run. Eduardo Nunez would go back-to-back, following that up with another home run, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. A fifth inning Derek Jeter scored Ichiro Suzuki in what wound up being a bit of an important insurance run.
Nova continued mowing down Rays, until the top of the sixth when Evan Longoria homered. Jeff Keppinger singled to open the top of the seventh, which was when things started to get shakey. Girardi pulled Nova in favor of Boone Logan. Logan then botched a Ben Francisco botched bunt, but got Keppinger at second. Ryan Roberts doubled off Logan, who was then pulled for Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain gave up a two run single to Luke Scott, which cut the lead to one run, but otherwise managed to escape unharmed.
From there, David Robertson did his job in the top of the eigth. Alex Rodriguez added a much needed insurance run the bottom of the eighth, doubling to bring home Cano. Rafael Soriano made a bit of a mess for himself in the bottom of the ninth. He gave up a double a Ben Francisco and a walk to Stephen Vogt, but escaped the jam and untucked.
Despite it getting a bit messy at the end, Ivan Nova can be more than happy with his job today. Nova's performance was just what was needed after CC's less that great job, yesterday. It was just one start, and this doesn't mean we can expect this from Nova for every start out, but maybe the DL stint is just what Ivan needed.
The Yankees find themselves back in first for the time being, with the Orioles playing later, but the win does give them some needed breathing space above the Rays. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball tomorrow against Matt Moore.