Even with Big Bats on Disabled List,
Yanks Still Homer
Three home runs propel Yankees to win over Blue Jays in the Bronx
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 26- Heading into a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx, the Yankees were leading the American League in home runs and third in baseball behind Atlanta and Colorado. That has been a pleasant surprise considering a lineup of noted home run hitters are on the disabled list.
After a shaky first few innings from starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, (3-1) who settled down and got the win, Vernon Wells, Robinson Cano, and Francisco Cervelli provided the home run power off Toronto starter and loser Mark Buehrle that led New York to a 5-3 come from behind win over the Blue Jays.
Wells connected off Buehrle (1-1) with a solo home run in the second inning, his sixth of the season and third against his former team. That reduced the Yankees deficit to 3-1. Cano, with two on hit his seventh home run in the third and Cervelli hit his fourth with a solo shot to left giving the Yankees their fifth run.
“He’s got a new life going over there,” said Toronto Manager John Gibbons about Wells. Gibbons was ejected from the game in the bottom of the seventh arguing a bobbled ball at first base. It was his second consecutive ejection from a game and 22nd of his career.
Kuroda gave up home runs to Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie in the first two innings along with six hits and three runs. But, he settled down and to manager Joe Girardi that was his best outing in five starts. He did not allow a hit after a double from Munenori Kawasaki in the second inning.
Girardi said, “This might be his best performance of the year. It says a lot because he didn’t have a whole lot.”
Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson pitched a scoreless inning. Mariano Rivera retired all three Blue Jays in the ninth and recorded his seventh save of the season. For Buehrle, it was his seventh straight loss to the Yankees, 1-9 in 14 starts.
DEREK JETER UPDATE: Before the game, Derek Jeter visited his teammates and updated the media on his setback with a fractured left ankle. Out since Opening Day, the Yankees captain vowed he will return sometime this season.
“No doubt,” he said with confidence in the press meeting room. He walked to the podium without the ankle boot that he has been wearing, and added, “When you have doubt that is when you have trouble.”
The Yankees have set no timetable for his return and have been utilizing Eduardo Nunez and, Jayson Nix at shortstop.
“I’ve been told this bone will heal,” commented Jeter. “When it heals, I will be ready to go. It is frustrating that I can’t magically make it heal sooner than it is taking. But there is no doubt. I have no doubt. I’m not getting into timelines. The last timeline I set, I didn’t make. Whenever it heals, I will be back.”
Jeter, 38, was saying there is no timeline however the Yankees have previously said they expected their captain to return after the all-star break. Last week he was diagnosed with a crack of the ankle that was surgically repaired resulting from an injury last October 13, in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com