The Yankees were solid last night in the first night game at Yankee Stadium, defeating the Oakland Athletics, 5-3.
Brett Gardner came through with a sensational catch and a two-run single.
Although 20 homers were hit in the first four games, only one was hit tonight. Damon hit the lone long ball, a no-doubter into the second deck in right field that would have left almost any park on any night.
After Pettitte pitched a strong but not flawless seven innings, Brian Bruney came in for one inning and allowed one run. Then it was Enter Sandman time. Last night was the 57th time Rivera has saved a win for Pettitte, tying Oakland Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and starter Bob Welch for the highest total in major league history.
Pettitte (2-0) allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings, with no walks or strikeouts. He has gone at least seven innings in each of his three starts. Bruney retired 22 batters in a row before Jack Cust singled with two outs in the eighth and scored on Mark Ellis’ double, trimming it to 5-3. Rivera worked around Suzuki’s leadoff single in the ninth for his fourth save.
A leadoff walk to Nick Swisher started New York’s four-run second inning. Swisher advanced to third on Hideki Matsui’s double and with one out Gardner grounded a two-run single through a drawn-in infield, under the glove of a diving Ellis at second base. Jeter lined a single off Ellis’ glove — a ball that probably should have been caught. Damon added an RBI single but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Mark Teixeira’s broken-bat single made it 4-0.
The Yankees wrap up the series against the Athletics today with a game at 1:05. CC Sabathia goes for his fourth start this year and the Yankees have the day off tomorrow before going to Boston to face the Red Sock for the first time this season.