The Yankees trailed 3-0 going into the seventh inning and looked as if they'd drop a second straight game. Two-game losing streaks aren't a big deal but today would have stung, it coming after Saturday's 13-11 loss, one in which the Yankees blew two six-run leads.

But the Yankees finally got to Justin Masterson, scoring five times, all with two outs. The biggest hit was Mark Teixeira's three-run homer off Tony Sipp that gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

“I was really just trying to hit a hard ball up the middle,” said Teixeira, who sent the ball deep into the seats in left. “When he hung that slider it allowed me to put a really good swing on it.”

A.J. Burnett was outstanding, allowing three runs -- only one earned -- and five hits in eight innings.

“My main goal coming in today was to hand the ball over to Mo in the ninth,” said Burnett, who later said the best sinker he's had all season was the key to the start.  

Joe Girardi called Saturday's defeat a "bad loss" and liked the way his team responded today.

“It’s gratifying because you don’t ever want to have a carry-over effect,” Girardi said. “You’re going to have tough losses during the course of the year, and you want to make sure your guys are mentally and physically equipped to bounce back. They showed that today.”

*** Before the game Girardi didn't sound as optimistic as Jorge Posada did about a sooner-rather-than-later return, but did postgame, having watched the catcher hit on the field. 

“He swung today, live BP, felt great,” Girardi said. “The next test to me is the running on the field [which Posada might try Monday] and if he’s OK to do that, we could have a player fairly soon.” 

*** The game ended with Mariano Rivera watching the ball and the shattered bat of Luis Valbuena come at him on the mound at similar speeds. Rivera deftly dodged the bat, fielded the ball and threw out the second baseman.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

“I just jumped and made sure I grabbed the ball and not the bat,” Rivera said smiling.

“Mo is by far the best athlete on this team,” Mark Teixeira said. “Anyone would tell you that.”

And with that, back tomorrow afternoon as Andy Pettitte (6-1, 2.62) takes on Mitch Talbot (6-3, 3.73). Enjoy the holiday.