Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Winn-Winn

Brian Cashman brought in Randy Winn to be the Yankees' 25th man -- a guy who might play a couple of times a week, pinch run, serve as defensive replacement, maybe get 250 at-bats for the season.

The thing is, on a good team, the 25th man is actually important.Winning teams get contributions from everyone on the roster.

Monday, Winn made his contribution.

Winn's two-out, three-run home run in the fourth inning gave CC Sabathia all the support he would need as the Yankees rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Winn has struggled to adapt in his limited role during the first month of the season, going 1-for-14, but with Curtis Granderson out for up to six weeks with a groin strain, the Yankees are going to need Winn and Marcus Thames to produce.

Monday was Winn's turn to start in left and he delivered in a big moment.

With the Yankees trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Alex Rodriguez led off with a single and moved to second on Jorge Posada's one-out groundout to second. Nick Swisher tied the score with a single to right and Brett Gardner followed with another single to bring up Winn.

Winn's not known as a power hitter -- he hadn't homered in 491 previous at-bats. He's hit 20 homers just once, in 2005, in his 13-year career and has 107 career homers. But when he gets a pitch to drive, he know how to handle it.

After taking a 93 mph fastball for ball one from Jeremy Guthrie, Winn turned on another fastball and crushed it into the bullpen. There was no doubt about the shot ... and there was no doubt the Yankees would win this game.

Sabathia (4-1, 2.74 ERA), after laboring in the first four innings and allowing Matt Wieters' leadoff homer in the second, settled down to improve to 11-1 lifetime against the Orioles. The big lefthander allowed one run on six hits and two walks, pitching into the eighth inning for the fourth time this season. He struck out just two, but threw 67 of 106 pitches for strikes.

Joba Chamberlain finished up with his first save since 2007 and second of his career, filling in for Mariano Rivera, who reported some tightness in his side. Rivera is expect to be back as soon as today.

Up Next
Today vs. Orioles, 7:05 p.m., YES
Brian Matusz (2-1, 4.40) vs. A.J. Burnett (3-0, 2.43) 

No comments: