This game looked like it would be a blowout early on, but the Astros made it interesting scoring four runs in the fourth to tie the game. The Yankees would eventually prevail 5-4 to take the two out of three to win the series.
The Yankees opened up the game with a quick 4-0 lead while David Phelps, starting in place of the injured Ivan Nova, faced the minimum through three innings using just 34 pitches. That ended abruptly in the fourth as the Astros tagged him for four runs on four hits and two hit by pitches (one was a RBI-HBP).
The Yankees did eventually take the lead in the sixth inning when Eduardo Nunez scored on a double play. The bullpen made that stand up as Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera pitched three shutout innings.
• After the game the Yankees announced that third baseman Chris Nelson was acquired from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later. Nelson is a 27-year-old right handed hitter who is hitting .242/.282/.318 in 21 games this year.
Last season Nelson hit .301/.352/.458, but that line is highly the product of playing in Coors Field, the most notorious home run hitters park in baseball, and he hit just .257/.292/.417 on the road.
To make room on the roster for Nelson, the Yankees placed Francisco Cervelli on the 60-day DL. They haven’t announce a corresponding move for the active roster, but it most likely will end up being Corban Joseph.
Joseph never was much of a third baseman though. This is a sign that the Yankees don’t have much faith in him there. He played a few times at third during Spring Training, but it was a bit of adventure and he hasn’t played there again this season. If the Yankees see him as a second baseman only then his only chance to stick with this team is if they don’t re-sign Cano.
• Robinson Cano homered in the third inning a solo shot that made it 3-0. He went 1-for-4. His line this year: .324/.375/.613.
• Ben Francisco also homered in the third inning, his first as a Yankee that made it 4-0. He went 1-for-1 with a walk and he’s now up to .133/.257/.233 this year. He had to hit something eventually.
• Brett Gardner, who came off the bench and went 1-for-2, actually stole two bases tonight. He nabbed both second and third in the eighth inning but was left stranded there with the Yankees holding on to the slim 5-4 lead. Gardner hitting a decent-but-could-be-better .257/.331/.400, hitting lefties better than righties.
• Ichiro Suzuki had the only multi-hit night as he went 2-for-4, one hit was a triple, with a walk and a run scored. He’s been hot lately, .364/.404/.455 over the last 11 games, and that has brought his average up quite a bit to a respectable .279/.330/.360.
• Eduardo Nunez, 1-for-3, doubled, walked and scored a run. He’s up to .208/.306/.264 after a couple of good games back-to-back.
• Lyle Overbay also doubled and walked twice. He’s not great, but he plays strong defense. He’s hitting .247/.289/.459 which is a weak average, a bad OBP, but a very decent slugging percentage. Like he did tonight, he can occasionally drive one into the gap.
(April 30, 2013 – Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America)