There were many good signs for the Yankees in their 12-3 win over the White Sox on Sunday.
Mark Teixeira had his career-high-tying four hits, giving him six in his first eight May at-bats after delivering 11 hits in all of April. This was his second straight poor April here. Why? “If I knew, I wouldn’t be doing it,” he said after the game. Teixeira batted .136 in April. Now he’s up to .189.
Robinson Cano has nine homers already after his three-run shot off Mark Buehrle, including a major-league-best six for lefty hitters against lefty pitchers. But he said he doesn’t want to think about hitting homers, that he’s after line drive. He leads the majors at .387. “I’m not surprised because I work very hard,” Cano said.
Brett Gardner is up to .429 (9 for 21) against lefty pitching and .342 overall. His solo shot off Buehrle was his first-ever in the majors against a lefty. “I’ve always thought of him as as an everyday player because he hits lefties,” Joe Girardi said.
Nick Swisher, who has struggled at home, homered for the second straight game and had three hits.
Girardi thought Nick Johnson’s two-run double to left-center in the seventh was a good sign, although he preceded that by going 0 for 4. The hit brought his average to .141.
Phil Hughes looks like an ace instead of a No. 5 starter, now 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA after seven shutout innings and only four hits allowed. The stunning stat is just 10 hits allowed in 25 innings over four starts. “The confidence is incredible,” Teixeira said about watching him pitch. Hughes doesn’t think of himself as the fifth starter. “I’m just a starter,” he said.
Javier Vazquez is scheduled to have a bullpen session on Monday. Girardi indicated that he will see how that goes before internal discussions take place and a final call is made on whether to start him or skip him Friday at Fenway.
Mark Melancon was called up as a 13th pitcher and worked the final two innings, allowing a three-run shot to Paul Konerko in the ninth. But Melancon replaced Curtis Granderson on the roster because the bullpen was used extensively on Saturday. Girardi said another outfielder will probably be summoned shortly, perhaps as soon as Monday.
Granderson got hurt when he was trying to go from first to third on a single by Gardner after originally having taken off on a steal attempt of second. He felt a grab, not a pop or snap. He said he was reminded of a cramping feeling. After I got home yesterday, I was like, man, it’s killing,” Granderson said. “Today I woke up expecting it to feel the same. It feels better.” But he’s still not expected back for about a month, according to Girardi.
Francisco Cervelli made his regular-season debut as a third baseman in the eighth. “He takes ground balls almost every day when he’s not catching,” Girardi said. It’s an option when Girardi wants to rest A-Rod and Derek Jeter at the same time, with Ramiro Pena taking short.
Girardi said A-Rod had stiffness – there were reports of a muscle injury in his right leg suffered while running the bases in the ninth inning Saturday – but that he was not injured and will be back in the lineup Monday night against the Orioles after resting on Sunday.
The Yankees have won seven of their eight series so far. And that’s it for now.