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So much for Melky Cabrera being the starting left fielder. The Yankees and the Braves have agreed to a trade that will send Melky, Mike Dunn, and righty Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves in exchange for starter Javier Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan.

Vazquez would become the Yankees #4 starter. He went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and 238 strikeouts for the Braves last year, and finished 4th in the AL Cy Young voting. He also posted a WHIP of 1.03 and threw 219.1 innings.

Many fans remember him for his ugly performance in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS in which the Red Sox clobbered him, but he’s a very good pitcher and is a great acquisition for the Yanks.

Logan on the other hand, hasn’t been a great pitcher in the first couple years of his young career. The 25-year old lefty posted a 5.19 ERA in 20 games for the Braves this past season, and has a career ERA of 5.78. I think the Yankees accepted him just to make this deal happen. They will probably let Logan go.

I’m sad to see Melky go, but his batting average was poor. His defense was fundamentally sound, but you can easily get that from another prospect or free agent. This opens the door a bit more for the Yankees to consider Damon, or even move someone there, or yet sign or trade for another outfielder.


Alex Rodriguez is turning this into the postseason that erases all of previous failures.

After Gary Matthews scored to make it 3-2 Angels in the top of the 11th, Rodriguez hit a tying homer in the 11th inning and the Yankees edged the Angels 4-3 Saturday night on Maicer Izturis’ throwing error in the 13th for a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.

After the rain came and went on another chilly night, New York pulled out its latest late-inning thriller. The game ended at 1:07 a.m. when Izturis threw away Melky Cabrera’s grounder to second base. Jerry Hairston ran around third to home and slid safely. For his winning run, Hairston got a pie in the face from starting pitcher AJ Burnett.

The Yankees used eight pitchers, starting with AJ Burnett going 6.1 innings, allowing three hits, two runs, while walking two and striking out four. Burnett ran into trouble in the fifth and threw a wild pitch that tied the game 2-2. He settled down the next two innings to keep the game close. Then Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes all struck out a batter to bring in Mariano Rivera, who pitched 2.1 innings, striking out two with only 25 pitches. Dave Robertson was the winning pitcher tonight.

The Yankees’ lineup didn’t fare well. The 3-4-5 hitters went 2 for 15, with the two hits being A-Rod’s homer and Matsui’s single. Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera both had two hits for the Yankees, who totaled 13 hits as a club, but gave up three errors in this cold, wet night.

With the day off for a cross-country trip tonight, the Yankees will face the Angels in Anaheim Monday night, with Andy Pettitte taking the ball. The Yankees now only need two more victories to get to the World Series.

The Yankees have silenced critics who say they cannot win against good teams, on the road, especially in Anaheim. They won two of three and evenly split the season series 5-5 against Los Angeles this year.

A.J. Burnett struck out 11 in just his second win since July, and New York won a series at Anaheim for the first time since May 2004 with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels yesterday.

Robinson Cano hit a two-run single and Melky Cabrera followed with an RBI double in the fourth inning for all of New York’s offense. Burnett, Kennedy and the rest of the bullpen kept the victory intact.

Mark Teixeira started New York’s rally with a one-out double, but Juan Rivera threw him out at the plate from left field on Shelley Duncan’s sharp single to right. Cano then drove home Hideki Matsui and Duncan, and Cabrera added another double.

The Yankees’ pitchers struck out 15 Angels batters, a season high.

Mariano Rivera gave up a leadoff single to Abreu but finished the ninth for his 42nd save in 44 chances, moving two behind the Angels’ Brian Fuentes for the major league lead.

Burnett didn’t make it out of the sixth inning, allowing seven hits and three walks, but his strikeout total was one shy of his season high.

The Yankees have the day off today and will open their final regular season series against the Red Sox Friday evening with Joba Chamberlain taking the mound against Jon Lester in a series that they must play well in. The Yankees don’t need to sweep the series, just play well. They are six games ahead of Boston, with the magic number to clinch the division at five.

Last night was a night to remember as the Yankees had a hit and run fest in Fenway Park. Hideki Matsui homered twice and had a career-high seven RBIs, Alex Rodriguez had four hits in a 20-11.

The Yankees scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, six in the fifth, three in the sixth, one in the seventh and four in the ninth.

Matsui hit three-run homers in the fifth and ninth, giving him 21 for the year, and drove in a run with a groundout in the seventh.

Rodriguez went 4 for 4 after getting just five hits in his previous 25 at-bats. Mark Teixeira and Melky Cabrera had three hits apiece and Teixeira drove in three runs. Derek Jeter went 3 for 6 for his fourth three-hit performance in the last five games and is batting .543 in his last 11 games.

The Yankees led 12-1 before the Red Sox scored three in the bottom of the fifth off Andy Pettitte (10-6).

Jeter doubled in the first, Teixeira walked, Rodriguez singled and Jorge Posada hit a two-run single. In the first, Johnny Damon fouled a ball off his right knee,and left the game in the bottom half with a bruised knee.

Eric Hinske cam in to replace Damon and contributed offensively by doubling in a run in the second before a two-run double by Teixeira and an RBI single by Rodriguez.

Behind stellar offense, Pettitte just needed to keep the Sox at bay. He pitched five innings, allowing 7 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), while walking two and striking out four.

An oversight on this offensive fireworks was the disastrous showing of the bullpen. Brian Bruney pitched 1.1 innings but walked 3 and allowed one hit. Damaso Marte came in for the first time in months for .2 of a inning and struck out one, so he was the minor bright spot. Sergio Mitre was awful in the bottom of the ninth, allowing two home runs to let the Sox bring up their score to 11. This cannot happen on a regular night, but Girardi was probably liberal because of the Yankees’ lead in runs.

Today it’s AJ Burnett against Tazawa at 4:10 p.m.  No matter what happens, the Yankees will leave Beantown with at least a 5.5 game lead, which is still pretty comfortable.

Go Yank-eeees!

Muhammad Ali and a sell-out crowd watched as the Yankees beat Boston for the first time in nine games this season, with Jorge Posada and Melky Cabrera hitting three-run homers in New York’s 13-6 victory last night.

Posada had three hits and three RBIs. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira also connected for New York.

Damon’s third-inning shot was his third in three days, Cabrera and Posada went deep in the fourth, when the Yankees scored eight runs. Teixeira delivered the final blow with his 28th homer leading off the seventh.

Despite a career-high seven walks, Joba Chamberlain (8-2) lasted five innings to win his fourth consecutive start.

Casey Kotchman hit a two-run homer for Boston and Dustin Pedroia also went deep. David Ortiz went 0-for-5 and was booed lustily in his first game at Yankee Stadium since he said the union confirmed his name was on the list of 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

The AL East-leading Yankees increased their lead over Boston to 3 1/2 games with their fourth consecutive win. Red Sox ace Josh Beckett is scheduled to face A.J. Burnett on Friday.

Boston played without All-Star outfielder Jason Bay and shortstop Jed Lowrie departed in the fourth inning with an irritated left forearm.

Chamberlain gave up four runs and six hits. He hasn’t lost since June 18 against Washington.

The only testy moment came in the eighth when Mark Melancon threw a pitch over the head of Pedroia, then hit the Boston leadoff man.

Posada walked with Pedroia down the first-base line and Francona came out to talk with plate umpire Derryl Cousins. Francona said Cousins issued a warning against further trouble.

I’m pretty sure Beckett will retaliate tonight, probably by hitting Jeets, Tex, or A-Rod.

The Yankees need to win at least one more game this weekend to ensure they finish the series ahead of the Sox. Of course a sweep would be sweeter!

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