Ivan Nova looked like the Nova of the first half of the season, returning to the mound on Saturday for the first time since August 21 and putting forth his best outing since the All-Star break. On a limited pitch count, Nova gave the Yankees 6+ innings of three-hit ball while striking out eight and allowing only two earned runs (one of which came across with Joba Chamberlain on the mound) to lead the Yankees to a 5-3 win over the Tamapa Bay Rays. With Andy Pettitte set to return on Tuesday, the Yankees rotation suddenly seems whole again.
Curtis Granderson hit his fifth homer in six games in the second inning, a two-run blast which was followed by Eduardo Nunez’s solo shot to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead. They added another run in the fifth when Ichiro singled with two outs and stole second, leading up to Derek Jeter’s RBI single. After the Rays cut their deficit to 4-3 with Luke Scott’s pinch-hit, two-run single in the seventh, A-Rod added an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI single.
Associated Press photo