Mark Teixeira singled twice, and neither was hit especially well. Then he walked twice, once to lead-off an inning and once to load the bases. Finally, in the seventh, he went deep.
“He got a couple of bleeders and that’s usually what gets you on a roll,” Nick Swisher said. “He got that and obviously with the big home run late in the game, it’s coming boys. It’s coming.”
It’s easy to love or hate Teixeira’s attitude this season. He either seems woefully out of tough, or he seems like a guy who stays even keel. Joe Girardi said Teixeira wasn’t much different during tonight’s 3-for-3 game than during Sunday’s 0-for-4.
“You see him smile a little bit more between at-bats, Girardi said. “But he really doesn’t change much. He’s happy when we’re winning, and he’s not happy when we’re losing. That’s about the most you get out of him.”
Those two singles and those two walks, they seemed to be small stepping stones the home run finale.
“It tells me that I’m not jumping at pitches,” Teixeira said. “It tells me that I’m waiting for my pitch. Hitting is an aggressive act. It’s not calling taking. It’s not called watching. It’s hitting, so you want to swing at pitches, you want to do damage, but at the same time, if you’re swinging at bad pitches you’re not helping out anybody.”
Here’s Teixeira after the game.
• Teixeira was one of three Yankees to have a three-hit game. Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher also had three hits, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner each had two. Swisher’s average is up to .311, and he has 10 home runs to go with it.
• Phil Hughes said his command wasn’t great. He was able to throw strikes — no walks for the first time this season — but he wasn’t able to spot pitches in the zone. “If I was to evaluate myself without even knowing how many runs I gave up, the pitches I made, I feel like I shouldn’t have won this game,” he said. “But I was able to battle as much as I could.”
• Frankly, that’s just the way Hughes is. When he evaluates himself after a start, he seems to focus on the negatives and you could tell those two-out runs bothered him. Allowing three runs on a bad day is pretty good. “With guys on base, two outs, 2-2 counts, stuff like that,” Hughes said. “I was just missing a little bit and they were able to cash in on a couple of opportunities.”
• Alex Rodriguez is fine. Girardi took him out of the game because of the score. “He felt good today and he’ll be back tomorrow,” Girardi said.
• Teixeira gave a lot of credit to Curtis Granderson, whose third-inning grand slam gave the Yankees a big, early lead. “That big home run got us all going,” Teixeira said. “Any time you see your teammate hit a grand slam, it just kind of rejuvenates the whole team.”
• It was the second grand slam of Granderson’s career. His first game on April 4, 2007.
• Dave Robertson had two strikeouts, his first strikeouts since May 20.
Associated Press photos of Teixeira and Swisher.