(Photo by Gary Quintal)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 18- All but one run for each club was scored via a home run on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. The five homers clouted by the Bronx Bombers allowed them to edge the Boston Red Sox, 6-4.
The five long balls of the Yankees raised their total this season to a Major League high of 186. The Yanks, on a good run, have homered in 33 of their last 37 games. They are currently on pace to equal if not surpass their single season mark of 244, achieved in 2009.
Nick Swisher hit the first Yankee homer of the contest with one out in the first. He connected for another solo homer from the other side of the plate with one out in the seventh. This was the 12th game in Swisher’s career that he accomplished this feat. He is only behind teammate Mark Teixeira, who has homered from both sides of the plate in 13 games.
The very hot Swisher has scored and driven in at least one run in each of his last six games. The streak is the longest by a Yankee since August 30-September 4, 2008 when Alex Rodriguez did the same.
Manager Joe Girardi said of Swisher, “He’s been extremely impressive. He’s done a great job there [batting in the second spot].”
Curtis Granderson (31) and Russell Martin (13) hit back-to-back homers in the second inning.
Derek Jeter led off the fifth with his 250th homer, surpassing Graig Nettles on the Yankees. The homer was his 10th of the 2012 season, which gave the Yankees a Major League leading total of 10 players (Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Curtis Granderson, Raúl Ibañez, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, Russell Martin, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira) with homers in double digits. The hit also increased Jeter’s consecutive game hitting streak to 13.
Girardi praised the iconic Yankee hero, “He’s [Jeter] an amazing player. How many 38 year olds play 15 games in a row.”
Red Sox starter Franklin Morales gave up four of the home runs in 5.1 innings. In his only other start against the Yanks this year Morales also yielded four homers. Interestingly, in six other starts in 2012, Morales surrendered only one home run.
The Red Sox scored all their four tallies in the third inning. Although none of the four runs were charged to Yankees starter Phil Hughes his throwing error caused them to be scored. Mike Aviles singled to begin the inning. Hughes fielded an easy grounder by Scott Podsednik into center on what appeared to be an easy double play. With one run in and two on base Dustin Pedroia awarded himself three runs batted in with a homer into the left field seats as a present for his 29th birthday. This was the third game in which Pedroia celebrated his birthday with a home run.
Hughes gave up only two other hits in his seven inning stint. The win ended his two game losing streak. Girardi was pleased by his performance, “He got ground balls; he didn’t walk people; he got us through seven innings. It was great except for his throw to second.
David Phelps (3-3) and Jon Lester (6-10) will start the second game of the weekend series to be played on Saturday at 4 p.m.