Defeat R. A. Dickey and Blue Jays, 3-2
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 29- The 3-2 win on Sunday gave the Yanks a four-game sweep of Toronto and raised their season mark to15-9. They are currently on pace to win 101 games.
Starting pitchers Phil Hughes of the Yanks and R.A. Dickey of the Blue Jays hooked up in a swiftly moving pitchers’ duel that lasted six innings.
For the third straight start, Hughes left the game with the Yankees trailing, 2-1. Uneconomical with his pitches, Hughes threw a season high 111 pitches in his six frames on the mound.
Hughes, still without a victory, has pitched in improved fashion in his most recent three starts. He remarked after the contest, “I’m happy with the last three starts. I thought I had pretty good stuff. I felt I could have made better pitches at the end.”
Three consecutive singles with two out in the fourth scored the first Toronto run. Edwin Encarnación beat out a slow roller down the third base line that remained fair. Melky Cabrera blooped a single to left and Adam Lind drove in the tally with a ground ball through the middle. Lind reached base for the eighth straight game.
A managerial decision led to the second run off Hughes. With Jose Bautista on second and two out in the sixth, Lind was intentionally walked. The next batter, Macier Izturis, doubled to score Bautista.
Dickey, pitching in New York City for the first time since his Cy Young Award winning season with the Mets in 2012, worked effectively and efficiently except for the home run ball.
Brennan Bosch hit a solo home run to right with one out in the second. The second and third Yankee runs were scored when Lyle Overbay drove Dickey’s 92nd pitch into the stands in center, scoring himself and Travis Hafner, who led off the seventh with a single.
Both batters spoke to reporters about the Toronto knuckleball pitcher, Bosch said, “I faced him before. [To myself] ‘I said’ Let’s just have fun with this.” Overbay commented, “He’s definitely tough. He wasn’t making mistakes. You start taking an aggressive swing.”
Dickey was removed after seven innings, during which he walked one batter and only surrendered four hits. Sufficient damage was done because two of the four were home runs that drove in all three runs for the Yankees.
Despite the absence of Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Russell Martin, Andrew Jones, Raúl Ibañez and Nick Swisher, who accounted for 194 of the club’s 245 homers in 2012, the Yanks are currently leading the American League in home runs with 35.
The Yankee bullpen continued to live up to the words of Overbay, “Our bullpen has been our savior,” which were spoken after Sunday’s contest. Each of the relievers, Boone Logan, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, pitched a scoreless inning. Logan earned the win and Rivera notched his ninth save of the month in nine save attempts. Rivera has converted his last 32 save opportunities at home.
Of the unparalleled closer, manager Joe Girardi proclaimed, “He’s like Jeet [Jeter] and Andy [Pettitte]. There’s not much they can do that’s going to surprise you.”
The Yanks will host the Houston Astros the next three nights. Veteran Andy Pettitte (3-1) will face right hander Lucas Harrell (2-2) on Monday evening.