Mariano Rivera allowed just one smoked ball in the 10th inning but, of course, it came at the worst time -- one out and the bases loaded. But the inning started with a couple of soft grounders that went for hits.
Michael Young led off with an infield single to short and Josh Hamilton sent a slow grounder that found its way through the hole at second for a single. Vladimir Guerrero sent a hard grounder to third that A-Rod stopped with a diving play to his left, probably saving a run. The Yankees intentionally walked Nelson Cruz to bring up David Murphy, who got ahead 3-and-0 before lining a 3-and-2 pitch to right.
“A hit is a hit, no matter how they are, they’re hits,” said Rivera, who came in having allowed just one run over his previous 27 appearances, a span of 27 2/3 innings. “In the newspaper they’re line drives. Doesn’t matter to me, they’re hits.”
What lost the game for the Yankees more was their lack of production with men on. They didn't do much hitting in those situations during last week's homestand, when they went 3-4, and it continued tonight as the Yankees went 3-for-11 with RISP and left nine on.
“We had opportunities to win the game and we didn’t get it done,” manager Joe Girardi said.
“You go through periods like that and other times pitchers bear down,” said Derek Jeter, who grounded into a double play in the ninth after Cano led off with a single. “They pitched well; it’s the reason why they’ve been playing well all year. You’d like to get those runs in but we weren’t able to do it.”
Back tomorrow night as it will be Javier Vazquez (9-8, 4.63) taking on Cliff Lee (10-5, 2.44).