Yankees glad to get back home

The Yankees’ West Coast swing that looked so promising there for a while ended with a thud. After an uplifting, 7-0 victory in Oakland Friday night that followed their three-sweep of the Mariners in Seattle, the Yankees dropped the last two games to the Athletics, who’s best record in the American League is clearly no fluke.

The Yanks managed only three hits off Scott Kazmir through six innings and two relievers retired them in order over the final three innings in a 5-1 setback Saturday. Vidal Nuno was stung for a pair of three-run homers by Derek Norris and Coco Crisp in the first two innings Sunday as Oakland went on to build a 10-0 lead and coast to a 10-5 victory.

Nuno, who was charged with eight earned runs in three-plus innings, has a bloated 5.90 ERA to go with a 1-3 record, but manager Joe Girardi gave no indication of any change in the rotation upcoming. The skipper has stated he plans to go with the current five starters – three of whom are rookies – until the All-Star break, which is still a month away.

There was some sloppiness involved in the two losses at Oakland. Backup catcher John Ryan Murphy was guilty of three passed balls in two games. Brendan Ryan, inserted in Sunday’s game for defense, made an error. Carlos Beltran forgot the number of outs in the eighth inning while on the bases and wandered himself into a double play. Beltran did hit a home run, which was a sign that he may be ready to break out offensively after his disabled list stint when he received a cortisone shot in his elbow. On the plus side, Derek Jeter batted .435 on the West Coast portion of the recently-completed trip.

The Yankees will stay in their own division for a while, beginning with a three-game series against the AL East-leading Blue Jays that opens the homestand starting Tuesday night. The Orioles come to Yankee Stadium for a three-game set beginning Friday night. The Yankees will then travel to Toronto for a three-game series next week and come home to play three games each against the Red Sox and the Rays before embarking on their final trip leading into the All-Star break.

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