With Ivan Nova dealing again, the Yankees offense was giving him no run support. Again. But that changed quite suddenly when Curtis Granderson stepped to the plate in the seventh inning. Nova went seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits and one walk, while striking out eighth. But all of that would've meant nothing, if not for Granderson's two run home run. That broke the deadlock and put the Yankees on their way to a 3-0 win over the Padres.
Neither team was able to score early on, but had two different ways of going about it.
The Padres weren't able to score due to some early RISP fails. In the first inning, Chase Headley and Yonder Alonso both hit one out singles. Nova nearly immediately got out of it when Will Venable grounded into a force out at second, which almost turned into a double play. But Venable just beat out the throw to first, keeping the inning alive. However, Jedd Gyorko just grounded out to end the inning anyway.
In the second inning, Alexi Amarista hit a lead off double, and moved to third on Logan Forsythe's ground out. Nova was able to get out of that jam too, though. After the first two innings, Nova caught fire and retired the next 12 Padre hitters.
Through the first six innings, the Yankee offense also couldn't score any runs, though they managed to somehow look worse than the Padres. Tyson Ross was shutting down the Yankees and through four innings, no Yankee managed to get on base. Lyle Overbay's one-out single in the fifth gave the Yankees their first hit and baserunner.
They then got their first real scoring chance in the sixth inning. Brett Gardner drew a two-out walk, and stole second during Robinson Cano's at bat. Cano hit one fairly deep to right-center field, but the ball eventually died and was caught for the third out.
Despite the Yankee offense looking completely anemic through six innings, they somehow managed to get on the board first. Alfonso Soriano led off the seventh with a single that just dropped between Amarista and Gyorko in shallow center field. Granderson came up next. He broke the tie by hitting a home run the went just over the right field wall. That gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Ross then walked Overbay and Nunez, which brought an end to his day. He had shut down the Yankees for most of the game, and finished with a line of six innings, two runs, three hits and three walks, while he struck out nine. Nick Vincent came in to pitch for the Padres, and the Yankees sent up Ichiro Suzuki as a pinch hitter for Brent Lillibridge. Ichiro grounded into a force out at second. That put runners on first and third for Chris Stewart. With another run just 90 feet away, Stewart hit a pop fly to shallow right field. Overbay bluffed tagging up to force a throw, but stayed put at third. The Yankees elected to keep Nova in the game and let him hit, but he wasn't able to help his own cause and struck out.
With Nova still pitching, Venable led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, becoming the first Padre to reach base since the second inning. Nova then struck out Gyorko and got Amarista to ground out. After walking Forsythe, Nova struck out Nick Hundley to get out of another jam unharmed.
After a 1-2-3 inning from the offense against Colt Hynes, David Robertson came in to pitch the eighth. Robertson got the first two outs easily, before allowing a single to Headley. The single wouldn't haunt D-Rob though, as he got Alonso to fly out.
The Yankees were able to tack on an insurance run in the ninth. Granderson got his second hit of the day by leading off with a single. Overbay came up next and he flied out to center. Granderson had been running to try and steal second and had to rush back to first to avoid being doubled up. From the replays, it looked as if the throw did beat Granderson there and he was out. However, he was called safe. It was a crappy for the Padres, but wound up being a positive for the Yankees. After Nunez flied out, Jayson Nix came up. Nix had been put in at third after Ichiro pinch hit for Lillibridge. Granderson stole second during Nix's at bat and came around to score when Nix singled through the left side of the infield. That increased the Yankee lead to 3-0.
That gave Mariano Rivera an extra run to work with in the ninth inning. Not that he needed it. Mo retired the three Padre hitters in order and sealed a 3-0 Yankees' win.
The Yankees finish up their series in San Diego tomorrow at 4:10 eastern. It's a battle of former top Yankee prospects on the mound, as Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy will take the mound.