Yankees use six pitchers to beat the rain and the Rockies
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DENVER -- The mantra that's usually part of the postseason made its debut for the Yankees after Wednesday night's crazy victory.
"It's all hands on deck right now,'' said Brennan Boesch, who legged out an infield hit with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning Wednesday to allow the Yankees to scrape by with a one-run victory.
Injuries have been the primary reason Joe Girardi has had to get somewhat creative in using some unexpected hands, such as having Vernon Wells play third base Wednesday for the first time since high school. Rain necessitated a few more hands than Girard would have liked to use Thursday against the Rockies, but no matter.
Despite CC Sabathia being relegated to four innings because of a one-hour, 59-minute rain delay, four relievers successfully got the ball to Mariano Rivera and the Yankees escaped Coors Field with a 3-1 victory.
"Another example where everyone contributed,'' Girardi said.
The Yankees (20-13), who took two of three against the Rockies, start a three-game series Friday night in Kansas City.
This was the third straight low-scoring game here, but the Yankees got just enough production, highlighted by Robinson Cano's ninth homer and another key hit by Wells.
Cano's infield single in the third was his 1,500th hit, and his homer just after the delay in the fifth made it 3-1. Cano's 186th homer sent him past Paul O'Neill for sole possession of 17th on the Yankees' all-time list. "It means a lot, it's a dream come true,'' Cano said of No. 1,500.
Cano, however, was more impressed with another win in which seemingly the entire 25-man roster played a role. "That's what you want, everyone to contribute,'' he said.
Sabathia pitched well before the delay, allowing one run and one hit in four innings, retiring the last 10 batters he faced and departing with a 2-1 lead.
Adam Warren relieved him and retired five straight before walking Dexter Fowler with two outs in the sixth. Warren also walked Troy Tulowitzki, so Girardi brought in lefty Boone Logan to face lefthanded-hitting Carlos Gonzalez. Logan induced a grounder to first to end the inning. Warren (1-0) was credited with the first win of his career.
Rookie righty Preston Claiborne started the seventh and allowed a pair of two-out singles, and Girardi summoned David Robertson to face pinch hitter Todd Helton. Robertson struck out Helton, then pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two after a leadoff walk.
"They had momentum,'' Robertson said of why he thought the Helton at-bat was his most critical strikeout. "If I make a mistake there, he easily could have tied the ballgame or given them the lead.''
Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save in as many opportunities.
"It's exciting,'' Sabathia said of seeing young arms such as Claiborne and Warren playing more than bit parts in the victory. "It's exciting watching the kids come in, pounding the strike zone and getting guys out.''
Said Warren: "We're just trying to get the ball to D-Rob and Mo.''
The righthander smiled, reflecting on the series, but he just as easily could have been discussing the season to this point.
"It's a lot of fun because you never know what's going to happen next,'' he said. "We're scraping together wins.''