Thursday, May 28, 2009

New York State Of Mind

Mark Teixeira makes his Yankee Stadium debut during his introductory press conference in January. Four months later, Teixeira is hitting .275 with 15 home runs and 39 RBI for Yankees, who are tied with Red Sox for first place in AL East. (Photo courtesy of Newsday)

It took over a year, but the New York Yankees are back in the residence where they have been accustomed to in recent years: First place in the American League East.

Mark Teixeira continued his sensational month of May, while Hideki Matsui hit two home runs to pace the Yankees in a 9-2 rout over Texas last night, moving them into a share of the division lead along with the Boston Red Sox after Toronto has dropped nine straight to open the door to the top.

The Yankees were equally as impressive in the field as they were at the plate, with A.J. Burnett tossing six scoreless innings to improve his record to 3-2. In addition, Chien-Ming Wang returned from a stint on the disabled list to throw two scoreless frames in relief, lowering his ERA to 20.45 in a performance that drew rave reviews from manager Joe Girardi. "That's as good as I've seen him this year," said the Yankee skipper. "That's what we want to see him. That's a huge building block."

Besides Burnett and Wang, the other star of the night was the Bombers' first baseman, whose production has increased drastically since the return of Alex Rodriguez on May 15th. In the 19 games that A-Rod has been back, Teixeira has hit .373 with 10 homers and 24 runs batted in. "I hope this is me for the rest of the year," Teixeira said after the game. "I feel great from both sides of the plate.

The Yankees start a weekend series in Cleveland tomorrow, with Andy Pettitte on the mound for the first game, followed by CC Sabathia pitching against his old Indians team for the first time.

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