Alex Rodriguez had vowed Tuesday night that he was about to go off, and he was right. Two homers, three RBI. The first one snapped a 52 at-bat homerless streak. The Yankees were on their way to the 8-3 win in the rubber game that capped a 3-3 homestand.
“I said it because I’ve been working on some things,” A-Rod said. “It’s good to back it up.
“I just felt I was getting good pitches to hit and I wasn’t in a position to hit them. The last two or three days, I’ve taken a lot of swings. Today I put myself in a position to take my A swing.”
Andy Pettitte looks like he never left, seven-plus innings, two runs, seven hits, one walk, eight Ks. His cutter has been great. He’s 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA. He has won his last nine decisions against the Royals.
“All along I felt like if I stayed healthy, I could get back to where I was when I left,” Pettitte said. “I’m just thankful right now I feel like I’m getting real close to that.”
So the Yankees have won two straight. Turns out, that coincides with a team meeting before Tuesday night’s game featuring Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman after the Yankees had fallen to .500 and dropped into a tie for last.
“Joe gave us a great talk,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a great manager and we have a lot of faith in him.”
The lineup isn’t totally cured since it went just 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
But A-Rod had a general message for the nonbelievers.
“Don’t underestimate this team,” A-Rod said. “It’s not our first rodeo. We understand what it takes to win. We know how to win.”
Brett Gardner had an MRI on his problematic elbow. Joe Girardi said the muscle has healed, but that Gardner still feels some stiffness in there. So he’s due to report to Tampa today, but he isn’t set to start swinging off a tee until Monday, if all goes well. David Robertson is also reporting to Tampa and should play catch today.
So now the Yankees head out on the road for a 10-day, nine-game swing to Oakland, Anaheim and Detroit, their longest trip before the All-Star break.
Friday night, it will be Ivan Nova vs. Tyson Ross, a righty with a 5.73 ERA. The Yankees will face Bartolo Colon on Saturday.