Results tagged ‘ Preston Claiborne ’

Largest comeback victory of the year for Yanks

The Yankees enjoyed their most impressive comeback of the season Wednesday night as they overcame a 4-0, first-inning deficit to post an 8-5 victory over the Rays. It was the first time all year that the Yankees won a game in which they trailed by as many as four runs. They are 32-3 this season when scoring at least six runs, including victories wins in each of their past 16 such games since June 27.

Yankees relievers combined for 8 2/3 innings to allow only one run, seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Their 28 1/3-inning scoreless streak ended with two out in the ninth on a solo home run by Evan Longoria off Esmil Rogers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the longest scoreless streak by a Yankees bullpen since July-August 1998 (37 1/3 innings) and had been the longest active streak for relief pitchers on any major-league team. Over the past seven games since Sept. 3, the pen has allowed 14 hits, one earned run, four walks (one intentional) and 29 strikeouts and has a 1.17 ERA over the past 18 games covering 61 1/3 innings.

Preston Claiborne (2 IP, 2H, 1K) earned his third victory of the season. It was his first major-league appearance since June 3 against the Athletics and his first appearance at any level since Aug. 29 for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Lehigh Valley. . .Chris Capuano gave up four earned runs, four hits and two walks with one strikeout in one-third of an inning, the shortest start of his career. His previous briefest start was 1 1/3 innings Aug. 24, 2004 for the Brewers against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It marked the shortest outing by a Yankees starter since David Phelps May 29, 2013 against the Mets (1/3 innings, five runs, four earned).

Brian McCann knocked in three runs with a solo homer and a two-run single. Of McCann’s 18 home runs this season, 16 have come at Yankee Stadium. Elias reports that McCann is the second player in franchise history to hit at least 16 of his first 18 home runs for the Yankees in home games, joining Joe Sewell in 1931-33. Elias also noted that McCann is the first major leaguer to hit at least 16 of his first 18 homers with a team at home since the Angels’ Dave Hollins from 1997-98. It was McCann’s third homer of the year on a 0-2 count.

Chris Young played left field and had 3-for-4, including a game-tying home run, his first for the Yankees, in the fourth inning. It was Young’s first home run since July 12 for the Mets against the Marlins at Citi Field. He is just the second player to homer for both the Yankees and Mets in the same season. The other was Dave Kingman, who hit nine home runs for the Mets and four for the Yankees in 1977. Young has four RBI in the past two games. . .Mark Teixeira drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning with his 19th career triple.

Derek Jeter (0-for-4) played in his 2,731st career game, surpassing Hall of Fame outfielder Mel Ott for sole possession of eighth place all time among major leaguers who played all of their games with one team. DJ also passed Ott, who played his entire career with the New York Giants, for most games by any New York-based MLB player. Jeter was the designated hitter because Carlos Beltran was scratched from the starting lineup due to right elbow soreness. The Yankees were also without Brett Gardner (strained abdominal muscle) and Martin Prado (left hamstring tightness).

Yanks’ dominance of the Twins fading?

The streak of games in which Yankees starting pitchers allowed three runs or fewer ended at 14 Friday night as Vidal Nuno gave up four runs, all on home runs, by the fourth inning against the Twins in an eventual 6-1 loss.

Vidal gave up a solo home run to Oswaldo Arcia in the second inning. Two innings later, Minnesota went deep twice more on a leadoff blow by Josh Willingham and a two-run shot by Trevor Plouffe that landed in the netting atop Monument Park.

Prior to that, Yankees starters had not allowed more than three runs in a game since May 14, a period covering 83 innings in which they had a combined ERA of 2.82. It was the longest such streak by a Yankees rotation since a 15-gamer in 2009 from June 14 to July 1.

The Yankees at least got some length from Nuno, who lasted two batters into the seventh inning. The long ball has been an issue for the lefthander this year. He has given up nine home runs in 47 2/3 innings.

Curiously, Yankee Stadium has not been kind to Nuno. He is 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA in six career games covering 30 2/3 innings at the Stadium. In five career road starts, Nuno has a 2-0 record with a 1.84 ERA in 29 1/3 innings.

The Yankees failed to generate much of an offense against Twins starter Ricky Nolasco, who entered the game with a 6.12 ERA and winless in five starts since April 24. They scored one run in the third inning on a two-out, RBI double by Jacoby Ellsbury but spent much of the game running themselves out of rallies.

Brian Roberts led off the second inning with a single but was picked off first base and thrown out at second. Brett Gardner, running from second base on a single to right by Derek Jeter in the third, was caught in a rundown between third and the plate and tagged out. In the sixth, Roberts was gunned down again, this time at home trying to score from second base on a two-out single to right by Yangervis Solarte.

The Minnesota lineup included former Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez as the designated hitter. He had an RBI single off Preston Claiborne in the Twins’ two-run eighth inning. Another former Yankee, pitcher Phil Hughes, will start for the Twins Sunday.

Mark Teixeira returned to the Yankees’ lineup after missing three games because of inflammation in his surgical right wrist and reached base three times on walks but did not advance beyond first base on a quiet night for the Yanks’ offense.

The Yankees’ mastery of the Twins, especially at the Stadium, during this century has faded somewhat. The Yankees have a 31-10 record at the Stadium against Minnesota but are under .500 (6-7) since May 16, 2010. The Yankees won 10 straight home series against the Twins from 2002 through 2011 but lost one series and split the other over the past two seasons. Overall, the Yankee are 26-10 against the Twins since the start of the 2009 season.

Yanks’ pitching durability being tested

It has been a tough week for the Yankees’ pitching staff. First, Ivan Nova went down with an elbow injury that will require Tommy John surgery. Thursday, the Yanks lost another pitcher, Michael Pineda, to a 10-game suspension for illegal use of pine tar in Wednesday night’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.

Nova, who was 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA in four starts, announced Thursday that he decided to have the Tommy John surgery, which will be performed by Dr. James Andrews Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala. The recovery period is 12 to 18 months, so Nova will be lost to the Yankees until at least the middle of the 2015 season.

Pineda, on the other hand, will likely miss only one start because there is an open date during his suspension period. However, that removes an extra day of rest for such aging starters as CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda and the young Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, whose workload in his first season in the United States the Yankees will monitor closely.

There have already been ramifications for the Yankees over Pineda’s foolish behavior. In getting ejected with two outs in the second inning for having a glob of pine tar on the right side of his neck, Pineda caused the Yankees to get 6 1/3 innings out of their bullpen on a blustery night in Boston.

Needing extra pitchers for Thursday night’s series finale, the Yankees brought up righthanders Bruce Billings and Shane Greene from Scranton and returned Preston Claiborne, who pitched two innings Wednesday night, to the Triple A affiliate along with infielder Dean Anna, who had been doing a solid job as a utility infielder. The move left Yangervis Solarte, who has been playing regularly, as the only backup shortstop for Derek Jeter, 39.

Lefthander Vidal Nuno has already been named the fifth starter in place of Nova. Righthander David Phelps, who has done a good job in middle relief, will probably make Pineda’s next scheduled start.

Pineda admitted his mistake and was contrite after Wednesday night’s game, but sorry doesn’t get it done. The righthander was under suspicion from his previous start against the same team at Yankee Stadium a week ago and with three separate networks televising the game (YES, NESN, ESPN) there was little chance Pineda could get away with hiding pine tar that he said he needed to get a better grip of the ball on a cold night.

At issue upon his return is whether Pineda can prove he can pitch without pine tar or whether the illegal substance for pitchers has become too much a psychological ally.

Nova placed on DL, may require elbow surgery

Following two nights in which the Yankees surrendered 27 runs to the Rays, the news continued to get worse for the pitching staff. An MRI on righthander Ivan Nova late Saturday night revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament of his pitching elbow. Nova was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday and will be further examined Monday in New York by Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

There was no decision yet as to whether Nova will undergo surgery, although that is often the case with such an injury. A Tommy John procedure would render Nova unavailable for 12 to 18 months. Lefthander Vidal Nuno was the emergency starter for the Yankees Sunday at Tropicana Field. The rotation was disrupted by last Tuesday’s rainout, which forced manager Joe Girardi to use two starters, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, on the same day in Wednesday’s split-admission doubleheader against the Cubs at Yankee Stadium.

Other reinforcements were recalled from the minors for Sunday’s game, righthanders Preston Claiborne from Triple A Scranton and Bryan Mitchell from Double A Trenton. Righthander Matt Daley, who was recalled Saturday and gave up six runs (four earned), five hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings in Saturday night’s 16-1 pasting, was designated for assignment. The Yankees also reinstated first baseman Mark Teixeira from the DL and optioned infielder Scott Sizemore to Scranton.

Momentum from Baltimore stalled in Boston

With a bullpen gasping, the last thing the Yankees needed Friday night was for their starting pitcher to blow up in the early innings. That is precisely what happened to Hiroki Kuroda, who soon after righted himself and pitched into the seventh but that first-inning damage did not go away. Although the Yankees evaporated the four-run deficit stemming from that inning, the weakened bullpen could not keep the Red Sox at bay and help the Yankees to another stirring, come-from-behind victory.

Instead, it turned out to be a night out of, well, Friday the 13th for the Yankees, whose movement in the American League wild-card chase stalled as the result of the 8-4 loss. In essence, the score was the same after the first inning when the Red Sox took a 4-0 lead off Kuroda, who threw 33 pitches and looked as if he might have to make an early exit.

The Red Sox threatened to blow the game wide open by loading the bases with one out in the second inning, but Kuroda worked out of it without giving up a run and did the same in the third after a leadoff double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. In fact, Kuroda retired 12 of the next 13 batters and was in a tie game by the time he reached the seventh inning.

John Lackey, who has had run-support issues all season, allowed the Yankees to chip away at the four-run spread. The Boston righthander gave up a Green Monster home run to Brendan Ryan in the third and needed a splendid, running catch from hamstrung right fielder Shane Victorino on a sacrifice fly by Lyle Overbay in the sixth to prevent that from becoming a much bigger inning.

The bottom of the Yankees’ order – Ryan and Chris Stewart – pushed Lackey out of the game in the seventh with one-out singles, and left-handed reliever Craig Breslow lost the lead as Robinson Cano drove in two runs with his third double and fourth hit of the game.

The Yankees came from behind in two of their three victories in Baltimore leading into this series and appeared bound to do so again before the Red Sox started putting runners on base in the bottom of the seventh beginning with a scorching single off Kuroda that Eduardo Nunez at third base could not handle.

The back end of the Yankees’ bullpen was not up to the task. Manager Joe Girardi, with Mariano Rivera and David Robertson unavailable because of recent use and Boone Logan disabled, went with a pair of rookies. Lefthander Cesar Cabral hit the only batter he faced, David Ortiz. Righthander Preston Claiborne walked the bases loaded and after a big strikeout of Daniel Nava got creamed on a 0-1 fastball to Saltalamacchia for a grand slam.

So all the positives the Yankees achieved in Baltimore blew up in one bad night in Boston. The Rays shut out the Twins to maintain a 1 ½-game lead for the second wild-card spot over the Indians, who moved a half-game ahead of the Yankees. Looking at just the loss column, the Yanks, Orioles and Royals all have 69 losses, three more than the Rays, and the days are withering down.

It’s a different month for Nova

Ivan Nova was the American League Pitcher of the Month for August. He is off to a rocky start in contention for AL Pitcher of the Month for September.

The righthander, who was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA last month, made it through only four innings Thursday night and left the game trailing due to Will Middlebrooks’ home run into the second deck in left field that unlocked a 2-2 score.

So much for all that excitement that was forecast about the Yankees-Red Sox showdown. It was snore, snore for a couple of innings. Things got lively in the third inning, however, as Yankee Stadium began to rock ‘n roll like the good, old Yankees-Red Sox days.

Boston broke the silence in the top of the inning with two runs off Nova, who had trouble keeping his fastball down in the strike zone or getting his curveball over. Ryan Lavarnway and Middlebrooks reached him for singles, and Jacoby Ellsbury put the Red Sox on the board with a double over the fence to right-center.

The Yankees kept the infield back and conceded another run when Shane Victorino grounded out. Dustin Pedroia did, too, but after walking David Ortiz intentionally Nova walked Daniel Nava quite unintentionally on four pitches to load the bases. Nova went to a full count on Mike Napoli before getting him on a called third strike.

After the top half of that inning awoke Red Sox fans, it was Yankees fans’ turn in the bottom half against Jake Peavy, who had lost all four of his previous starts against the Bombers. Ichiro Suzuki got the Yankees’ first hit on a single to center and then promptly stole second base. Chris Stewart made the second out on a popup, but Brett Gardner kept the inning alive with a bunt single.

Peavy got himself in trouble with a walk to Derek Jeter that filled the bases for hot-hitting Robinson Cano, who whacked the first pitch off the wall in right field for a two-run double that tied the score. The Red Sox put one of those exaggerated shifts on Alfonso Soriano, who hit into it and flied out to left field.

Nova’s brief outing was a decided disappointment. The Yankees had been counting on him to continue his hot hand and get them off to a good start in the four-game set against the Red Sox. Nova had pitched into the seventh inning and higher in 11 of his previous 12 starts but ran his pitch count up to nearly 100 (96) through the fourth.

Preston Claiborne, recently recalled from Triple A Scranton, did not help matter when he faced five batters in the fifth inning and got none of them out. Shane Victorino started Claiborne off with a home run to left. Pedroia and Ortiz followed with singles before Nava walked to fill the bases. An infield single by Napoli and an infield out brought in two more runs.

Yankees promote five players as rosters expand

There were some new faces in the Yankees clubhouse Sunday plus some familiar faces that had been in the minors recently. On the day active rosters are allowed to expand from 25 to up to 40 players, the Yankees recalled pitchers Dellin Betances and Brett Marshall and infielder David Adams from Triple A Scranton.

Also brought up were pitcher Cesar Cabral, whose contract was purchased from Scranton, and catcher J.R. Murphy, who signed a major league contract and was selected off the Scranton roster. To create roster space for Cabral and Murphy, the Yankees transferred infielder Jayson Nix (fractured left hand) to the 60-day disabled list and released outfielder Melky Mesa. Pitcher Preston Claiborne is expected to join the team Monday when the Yankees open a three-game series against the White Sox.

About the added personnel, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, “Just contribute any way they can is the bottom line. It can be one hitter, it can be one at-bat; could play one inning. Any way you could help us out is all we’re asking you to do.”

That said, Girardi reiterated his dislike of the expanded-roster period and belief that each game managers should have to designate which 25 players are eligible to play that day. It is an idea worth pursuing by Major League Baseball which to this point it has not.

Sabathia pays the ‘Price’ against Rays

CC Sabathia has had a nasty habit this season of giving up leads. That virus struck him again Saturday night at Tropicana Field at a time the Yankees could least afford it. This was a game that fit the must-win category with Boston and Oakland both winning and the Yanks trying to stretch their winning series streak to five. Instead, they will take the field Sunday in an attempt salvage one game in the three-game set against the first-place Rays.

Paired against fellow former American League Cy Young Award winner David Price for the ninth time, Sabathia actually had the upper hand for five innings. He held the Rays to one hit, a two-out double by longtime nemesis Evan Longoria in the first inning, and a walk to that point. CC also made an outstanding defensive play to get the last out of the third inning by fielding a chopper with his back to the plate and firing a laser beam to first base.

The Yankees gave Sabathia a 2-0 lead in the fifth by using three singles and a walk to put a dent in Price. After that, however, the Yanks had only one more base runner – Curtis Granderson with a one-out double in the seventh – so their offense was standing still as the Rays made their move.

Then came the sixth inning and everything fell apart for the big guy. Sam Fuld, the 9-hole hitter barely batting over .200, led off with a single through the middle. Sabathia temporarily lost the plate by walking Desmond Jennings on four pitches and falling behind 2-0 in the count to Ben Zobrist, who later in the at-bat drilled a 3-1 fastball to left-center for a two-run double. CC then had to deal with Longoria, who singled home Zobrist to give the Rays the lead. Longoria raised his career average against Sabathia to .396 with six doubles and six home runs.

“I lost my command,” Sabathia told reporters. “I tried to nibble, and it cost us the game. One bad inning; I felt like I couldn’t stop the bleeding.”

Sabathia departed in the seventh after allowing yet another hit to Fuld with one out. Preston Claiborne prevented Fuld from scoring but the next inning had no more success against Longoria than did Sabathia. The Rays third baseman crushed a 1-2 slider to center field for his 27th home run that gave Fernando Rodney (30th save) some insurance in the ninth as he closed it out for his 30th save in 37 tries.

Price (8-5) is now 6-1 in head-to-head matchups against Sabathia with the Rays winning seven of the nine games. The lefthander missed 44 games while on the 15-day disabled list because of a left triceps strain. Since returning from the DL July 2, Price is 7-1 with a 1.97 ERA. He seemed to lost faith in his fastball in the fifth inning and was touched for singles by Alex Rodriguez and Vernon Wells off hanging sliders. Mark Reynolds foiled Rays manager Joe Maddon’s overshift with a single to the right side to load the bases. The Yankees’ runs came on a walk to Austin Romine and an infield out by Ichiro Suzuki.

The Rays maintained their percentage-points edge over the Red Sox for the top spot in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Yankees dropped seven games out of first place in the division race and 4 ½ games behind the Athletics for the second wild-card berth.

Sweet sweep continues Yanks’ turnaround

The brief homestand turned out a nice rest stop for the Yankees, who continued their dominance of the Blue Jays this season with a four-game sweep that improved their record against Toronto to 12-1. The dustup of the Jays was just the sort of momentum builder the Yanks needed as they headed for St. Petersburg, Fla., for a three-game showdown with the Rays.

It was not too long ago that the upcoming set at Tropicana Field would not have much at stake, back when the Yankees were 11 ½ games out of first place in the American League East and 7 ½ games out of the second wild-card spot. How things change when a few potent bats are added to the lineup.

After Thursday’s 5-3 victory, their fifth straight, the Yankees stood six games behind the first-place Red Sox in the division and 3 1/2 back in the wild-card chase. Considered buried in the not so distant past, the Yankees are now very much in the hunt for another postseason berth.

“We’re continuing to make up ground and winning series,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It makes [postseason play] seem more attainable.”

After suffering through eight straight non-winning series, the Yankees have run off four winning series in a row and have won 10 of their past 12 games. The trade for Alfonso Soriano and the return from the disabled list of Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are major factors in the Yankees’ recent turnaround.

As Girardi said, “You feel you can back into the game pretty easily.”

The Yankees came from behind in all four games against the Jays. In Thursday’s game, Toronto went ahead on a home run by J.P. Arencibia off Andy Pettitte. Rodriguez made a fine maneuver to pull off a rally-killing double play in that inning and Granderson answered Arencibia’s home run with one of his own off J.A. Happ, the pitcher who broke his wrist in spring training, to tie the score.

Yet another questionable umpiring call helped the Yankees later in the fifth when a fly ball by Vernon Wells that appeared to have been caught by center fielder Rajai Davis was ruled a trap as a run scored. Video replays indicated that Davis had indeed caught the ball. There was no reason for the Yankees to feel bad about that because Rodriguez was called out at first base on an earlier play that replays showed he clearly had beaten.

The Yanks scored three runs with only one hit in the sixth as they took advantage of three walks that loaded the bases for Eduardo Nunez, who singled in two runs. In all, the Yankees received six free passes in the game.

Pettitte pitched a sturdy six innings (one run, four hits, three walks, three strikeouts) in winning his second straight decision and getting his record back to .500 at 9-9. He continued his career success against the Blue Jays with a 24-13 mark. Shawn Kelley had a bit of a hiccup in the seventh when he allowed two runs, but effective relief work by Preston Claiborne and David Robertson (second save) put a nice finish to a very long day.

The start of the game was held up for 3 ½ hours because of rain. The sun finally broke through around the time of the first pitch. The Yankees remained in the sunshine the rest of the way.

Big start for Yanks in AL East push

Friday night’s 10-3 victory at Fenway Park began a stretch of 15 consecutive games and 29 of 32 games for the Yankees against divisional opponents. If they are to make a move up the American League East standings, this is it.

Just a week ago, the Yankees were 11 ½ games out of first place. That number is down to 7 ½, and they are two games out of third place. The Red Sox’ loss shrunk their division lead to one games over the Rays. The teams in front of the Yankees have been wobbly lately while they have put up steam after an impressive, 5-2 homestand against the Tigers and Angels.

Clearly, the offensive muscle the Yankees have gotten from Alfonso Soriano is at the center of the resurgence after the dismal 2-5 trip through Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago. Soriano kept up his torrid hitting Friday night with a three-run home run in the third inning that gave him 18 RBI in four games, a feat accomplished by only five other players in history, including Yankees Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Tony Lazzeri and Lou Gehrig. The others were Sammy Sosa and Hall of Famer Jim Bottomley.

When the Yankees acquired Soriano July 26 from the Cubs, I looked at his 51 RBI and figured there was no way he could get to 100 this year. Shows you what I know. Sori is up to 77 now, so a 100-RBI season is by no means out of the question with six weeks remaining.

The Yankees opened the scoring against Red Sox lefthander Felix Doubront with another RBI by Soriano on an infield single in the first inning. This was good news for Andy Pettitte, who has had a penchant for allowing runs in the first frame. At least this time Pettitte could take the mound with the lead. And the runs just kept coming.

Mark Reynolds marked his Yankees debut with a two-run homer in the second inning. Plucked off waivers from the Indians to platoon at first base with Lyle Overbay, Reynolds is one of those feast-and-famine players with 196 career home runs and 1,245 strikeouts. Reynolds has led the league in strikeouts four times and topped 200 Ks three times in his career. He has a power cut, however, and the Yankees have been looking for pop from the right side all year and didn’t have much of it until Soriano and Alex Rodriguez arrived. Reynolds added an RBI single in the ninth.

Preston Claiborne, a victim of baseball paperwork, was optioned to Triple A Scranton to create roster space for Reynolds. Claiborne proved a useful righthander in relief (0-1, 2.88 ERA, 33 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings), but he was the one to go because he had options left, unlike Joba Chamberlain (4.83 ERA), who had trouble protecting a seven-run lead in the ninth inning and needed relief himself.

The best pitching news was the work of Pettitte (8-9), who might have had a shutout if not for two errors by shortstop Eduardo Nunez that caused all three runs off Pettitte to be unearned. The victory was career No. 253, which tied Pettitte with Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell for 43rd place on the all-time list. Next up at No. 42 with 254 victories each are Hall of Famer Red Faber and Hall candidate Jack Morris.