Cano helps Yankees to 3-1 win over Rockies
- Article by: PAT GRAHAM
- Associated Press
- May 9, 2013 - 7:15 PM
DENVER - CC Sabathia and five relievers held Colorado to four hits, Robinson Cano added a solo homer and the New York Yankees beat the Rockies 3-1 on Thursday in a game that was delayed more than two hours by rain.
Cano also had an infield single in the third for his 1,500th hit as the Yankees took two of three from Colorado.
A steady rain delayed the first pitch by 8 minutes. The grounds crew constantly dumped diamond dry on the infield between innings to keep the surface playable. In the fourth, another thunderstorm rumbled through the city and halted the game for 1:59.
The break meant the end of the day for Sabathia, who allowed one run and one hit in four innings. He threw 51 pitches, breaking a string of 13 straight starts where he reached the 100-pitch plateau.
A stream of relievers picked up where Sabathia left off. Adam Warren (1-0) picked up his first big league the win by getting five big outs after the rain delay. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth to remain perfect in 13th save chances.
Jeff Francis (1-3) threw four innings and gave up two runs before the rain forced the umpires to signal for the tarp. The lefty didn't return when play was resumed.
Vernon Wells added an RBI single in the first and Chris Stewart drove in another on a sacrifice fly.
Sabathia was just finding his stride when the skies opened up. Mixing in a 91 mph four-seam fastball with a stealthy slider, he retired 11 straight after giving up a single to Troy Tulowitzki in the first inning. Still, his fastball velocity is down 2-4 mph from the start of last season, according to fangraphs.com.
Tulowitzki was back in the lineup after missing the previous two days with soreness in his legs. He wasn't in his customary cleanup spot but hit No. 3 in the order as manager Walt Weiss elected to flip-flop the All-Star shortstop and Carlos Gonzalez against the left-handed Sabathia. Tulowitzki was 1 for 3 with a walk, while Gonzalez wound up 0 for 3 and struck out twice. Gonzalez drove in the Rockies' lone run with a sacrifice fly in the first.
New York took the lead for good in the fourth when Stewart's fly brought home Chris Nelson, the former Rockies infielder who led off the inning with a double. Cano added his team-high ninth homer of the season an inning later.
Colorado tied the game in the second when Dexter Fowler beat the throw home on Gonzalez's sacrifice fly to left. Fowler eluded the tag of Stewart just long enough to reach his hand around the shin guards of Stewart and touch home plate.
Stewart was upset over the call, thinking he applied the tag in time. Manager Joe Girardi came out of the dugout to briefly argue with plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.
Cuzzi also was involved in a close play at first base in the ninth inning Wednesday, when he ruled Brennan Boesch safe on an infield single that brought in the go-ahead run during the Yankees' 3-2 win.
New York jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the series finale when Wells laced an RBI single to right. Wells also had a productive game the night before when he hit a two-run homer, scored the go-ahead run in the ninth and then filled in at third base for the first time in his big league career.
Rest assured, Wells isn't planning a position change after playing flawless third base. But if the occasion should arise again, Wells would gladly take over at the hot corner.
"I take ground balls everywhere, so I'm ready for anything," Wells said.
NOTES: Girardi is hoping to have INF Eduardo Nunez (left ribcage tightness) back on Friday. "Ribcages are tricky. Got to make sure he feels OK before he goes out there," Girardi said. ... Yankees OF Curtis Granderson (broken right wrist) was to begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. ... Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (1-2) will pitch Friday night in Kansas City. ... The Rockies embark on a six-game road swing, with RHP Jon Garland (2-2) throwing Friday in St. Louis. ... Weiss was asked if he thought Rivera's strike zone seemed to expand in the ninth on Wednesday. "I'm not allowed to comment on those things, am I?" Weiss said. "I'm a little green in this position, but I'm smart enough to know that one."
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