The A.J. Burnett Return-to-Respectability tour continued last night as the Yankees completed the sweep of the A's, winning 6-2.
Burnett went 7 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and striking out three. You'd like to see him start racking up a few more Ks, but he really hasn't been ringing guys up with much regularity this year as it is, having struck out more than five batters only four times in 18 starts. On the whole, Yankee pitching was as good as it gets in this three-game set, holding the A's to a total of four measly runs.
Despite getting A's starter Gio Gonzalez's pitch count up early, the Yankees squandered several opportunities over the first few innings. That would change come the fourth inning, as the bats exploded for five runs -- all with two outs, to boot -- highlighted by Brett Gardner's walk and steal of second, Ramiro Pena's base hit to tie the game, Derek Jeter's base hit to take the lead, Nick Swisher's walk and Mark Teixeira's booming three-run homer.
Swish would later add an opposite field solo homer, which was awesome and compelled me to send another 50-plus votes his way. I know I said my piece two days ago about how I felt Kevin Youkilis was more deserving (and he still is), but Swish practically begging us to send him to the All-Star Game in his YES commercial was enough to break through my cold, emotionless, stat-obsessed exterior.
As a random note, for what it's worth -- and it's probably not worth all that much -- Derek Jeter only has one three-hit game since May 29, and five on the season, compared to nine through 84 games last year.
Also, I'm still waiting for Tex and Alex Rodriguez to go yard in the same game. It's only a matter of time, but it's still pretty crazy that the Yankees' #3 and #4 hitters have yet to do so more than halfway through the season.