The Yankees finally made a two-run home run in the first inning count, as Alex Rodriguez's 600th career blast (three years to the day he hit his 500th, natch) gave the team a 2-0 lead they would never relinquish en route to a 5-1 Yankee win that halted the team's three-game slide.
After getting beaten senseless by the Blue Jays and their endless string of doubles and home runs the last two days, the Yankee pitching staff only surrendered one extra-base hit and yielded one run. Phil Hughes was effective though a bit inefficient, giving up the one run on 5 1/3 innings while striking out five. Shaun Marcus was slight more efficient but ineffective, throwing 6 innings and giving up five runs.
The Yankees were able to tack another run on in the third as Mark Teixeira doubled Derek Jeter home, and Tex struck again two innings later with a huge two-run single to further extend the lead. The Yankee bullpen came on and did its job once again, as Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera together tossed 3 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball.
Speaking of Derek Jeter, the Yankee Captain silenced his growing chorus of critics in the Yankee blogospehere -- at least for a day -- with his first four-hit game in over a year.
The win was huge for a wide variety of reasons: The Yankees avoided losing four in a row for the first time all season, avoided falling further behind the Rays, ensured that the closest Boston can get to them by the time the Sox arrive at the Stadium on Friday is 5 games, and also avoided being swept in a three-game set for the first time all season.
The only time they've been "swept" in 2010 was the two-game set against Tampa Bay back in May, which doesn't count as a true sweep. Additionally, the Yankees haven't been swept in a three-game series at home in more than two years, the last one occurring April 29 through May 1, 2008, against the Tigers, so nice to keep that streak alive as well.