After the N.Y Yankees held off a late charge from the Toronto Blue Jays, they could breathe out and savor the boost they had hoped for and received from Andy Pettitte.
Pettitte pitched 5 shutout innings in the Yankees’ 4-2 win in Game One of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader, his 1st start since June 27.
The victory put the Yankees up a half-game on the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East, pending Game 2 of the doubleheader and the Baltimore’ late game at the Mariners.
Omar Vizquel had 2 hits, virtually bringing the Blue Jays back while tying and passing Babe Ruth for 41st place on baseball’s all-time hit list.
But the N.Y Yankees’ bullpen held off the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing the Yankees to enjoy a win together with the fact they’d their veteran lefty back for the stretch run and possible postseason matchups.
Pettitte (4-3) acknowledged he felt a little off in his 1st start since fracturing his left ankle after taking a line drive off it more than 2 months back. But he revealed he felt 100 percent healthy. He also had the type of effective results he gave the Yankees when he came out of retirement in May before his season was interrupted.
The Yankees held a 3-0 lead thru 7 innings, but hardly clung to it in the 8th. Toronto scored a couple of times against reliever David Robertson and loaded the bases with 2 outs.
Rafael Soriano, who had walked No. 9 hitter Anthony Gose to load the bases, got Rajai Davis on a line drive that appeared as if it might hit left fielder Ichiro Suzuki in the chest, as he appeared in danger of over running it, before he made the catch, holding on tight as he fell to his knees. Football scores
The Yankees added an insurance run to make it 4-2 on Nick Swisher’s 2-out RBI single in the 8th. The clutch hit followed Ichiro’s double, his 3rd hit of the game. Soriano pitched a scoreless 9th for his 41st save of the season.
Pettitte (4-3) gave up 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 3. Predicted to throw about 70 pitches, he left having thrown 75 after the 5th.
The Yankees scored 3 times in the 1st as the 1st 3 batters reached with hits against Henderson Alvarez (9-13). Robinson Cano doubled in a run, Alex Rodriguez drove in the 2nd with a groundout and Curtis Granderson capped the inning’s scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Pettitte pitched out of a 2nd-inning jam, with a little help from Swisher. With 2 on and 2 outs, the 1st baseman beat Gose to the bag, sliding in in front of him for the final out.
Alvarez shut out the Yankees for the next 6 innings, setting a career high with 7 strikeouts. He allowed just 2 hits after the 3-hit first.
Pettitte, who had pitched impressively after he came out of retirement, fought hard to return. He had to attend an extra day after Tuesday’s rainout, but appeared sharp Wednesday.