Game 52: NYY vs. STL — Ellsbury leads tonight so they can win the road trip

The Yankees leave this long Midwestern road trip as winners after tonight’s game. They split both series in Chicago, and tonight secured a 2-1 series win over St. Louis. Over all, they went 8-7 for the road trip, and they are now 4 games over .500 (and 3 games behind Toronto in the AL East).

The Yankees struck hard and fast early in the game to rack up the points, that they would need to win this game. In the 3rd, Gardner walked, Roberts singled, and then Jacoby Ellsbury’s single scored Gardner. McCann then walked to load the bases, and John Ryan Murphy’s single scored Roberts and Ellsbury. McCann would then score on Ichiro’s force ground out. And the Yankees were up 4-0 in the 3rd.

They came back in the 4th to add some more runs. With 2 outs and Johnson on base with a single, Brian Roberts’ double put runners at 2nd and 3rd to both score on Ellsbury’s single. Ellsbury would score on Brian McCann’s single. And suddenly it was 7-0 Yankees into the bottom of the 4th.

It was Hiroki Kuroda’s turn to start tonight’s game in St. Louis. And despite the 9 hits and 3 runs over just 5.2 innings, he was backed by a decent defense and offense that kept him in line for the win. So the Cards tried to chip away at the Yankees’ lead — an RBI single in the 4th, a ground out scored a run in the 5th, and an RBI double in the 6th. After that last one, the Yankees went to Thornton and then Betances to get out of the 6th inning. They would turn to Adam Warren for the 7th and 8th inning. Warren kept the Cardinals from chipping away further, except for a 2-out double in the 8th.

David Robertson came on to get a 4-out close (not a save opportunity due to the 4-run gap). Unfortunately, his first batter hit a really nice single up the middle and scored that base runner. It was 7-4 Yankees.  Robertson’s 9th was exhausting to watch, as he seemed to really struggle through it. But he got that final out and kept the Yankees’ win for Kuroda. And despite being within a save opportunity, because it was his fault it was within 3 runs, he gets no credit for the save.

A couple of interesting things: Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-3 on stolen bases tonight, something that runners just don’t do against the Cardinals’ catcher; and Brian McCann got his first career start at 1st base tonight and actually did a pretty decent job. He’s definitely a better catcher, but with recent issues with Teixeira and some regular substitutes needing a break, he’s a decent fill-in.

The Yankees fly back to New York tomorrow for a weekend series against the Twins, their make-up game against Seattle on Monday, and a midweek series against the Athletics before they head out again. Ah, the joys of the beginnings of summer — one week home, one week away. Enjoy your off-day!

Go Yankees!

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