Jason Giambi tied his season high with three hits and walked once, turning it into the go-ahead run. But it was his homer off A.J. Burnett that served as the best part of his second return to Yankee Stadium after leaving the Yankees following the 2008 season. Giambi had just been greeted warmly by the fans for this first at-bat in the second.
“I wasn’t touching the ground,” said Giambi, who returned for the first time with Oakland in 2009. “I was excited. There’s an incredible energy playing in this stadium with the fans that they have here. It was like old times to have that opportunity to play in front of them again. I went up there, and I think he could’ve thrown the resin bag 2-and-0 and I would’ve swung at it. …
“I couldn’t have dreamed for a better game to have.”
A.J. Burnett could have dreamed for a better game to have. He allowed four runs, seven hits and five walks.
“Way too many walks,” Burnett said.
His mechanics went south on him.
“I was pretty inconsistent all night with my arm slot,” Burnett said. “I didn’t find it until the last inning.”
That was the inning — the sixth — in which he struck out a franchise-record four thanks to a wild pitch on one of the Ks. He became the second pitcher in major-league history to do it more than once. Burnett was actually around for the first out in the seventh, but then got steamed at Joe Girardi when he was pulled after 105 pitches, although only 58 of them went for strikes. Burnett never likes being taken out.
“I’ve got to work on that,” Burnett said. “It’s never personal. That man takes care of us better than a lot of managers do.”
On the other hand, Ubaldo Jimenez shut the Yankees down over seven, allowing two runs, four hits and four walks. Nick Swisher said Jimenez, a 19-game winner last season who is up to 3-7 with a 4.50 ERA after winning his second straight start, wasn’t throwing as hard as before. But he was able to throw his breaking stuff for strikes.
“He made some pitches when he had to,” Girardi said.
*Robinson Cano went 0 for 4 and had his 11-game hitting streak snapped.
*Curtis Granderson stole two bases, his first game with at least that many since 2008. He scored both runs — both times driven in by Alex Rodriguez — and now leads the majors in runs scored with 66.
*Here’s Jim Tracy, manager of the 38-37 Rockies, on playing here: “We don’t care who we play or where we are playing. If this team expects to be playing baseball in October, it better get comfortable playing in any environment.”
*Saturday’s matchup will feature CC Sabathia and Aaron Cook.