By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Bartolo Colon looked like the ace of old,
shutting down the Chicago White Sox over eight crisp innings, and
Robinson Cano hit an early three-run homer to give the New York
Yankees a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.
A pleasant surprise for the Yankees thus far, Colon (2-1)
escaped a bases-loaded jam with nobody out and outpitched Mark
Buehrle, giving him two wins in two starts this season _ his first
in the majors since 2009.
The husky right-hander, who won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award for
the Angels, signed a minor league deal in February and was brought
to spring training to provide pitching depth. He had a strong camp
and made the team as a long reliever, but has quickly become an
April savior for a New York rotation missing injured All-Star Phil
The 37-year-old Colon, who beat Toronto 6-2 last Wednesday,
flashed an overpowering fastball that had been missing for years as
he struggled to overcome injuries. Hitting 94-95 mph on the stadium
radar gun, he struck out six and walked one against his former
Colon allowed seven hits, including Adam Dunn’s RBI single in
the sixth, and threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes in a game
that took just 2 hours, 11 minutes. It was the first time he
pitched more than seven innings since Sept. 22, 2007, with the
Angels against Seattle in a 3-2 loss.
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save after
blowing his previous two chances.
The victory made Joe Girardi the ninth manager to reach 300
regular-season wins with the Yankees. He is 300-207 since taking
over before the 2008 season.
Buehrle (1-3) pitched well but failed in his fifth attempt at
career win No. 150. The left-hander gave up six hits in seven
innings, dropping to 1-8 against the Yankees in his career. He
struck out five and walked two.
Before the game, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen joked that he was
surprised to learn Colon had showed up at the ballpark _ a
reference to Colon’s injury-plagued 2009 stint with the White Sox
during which he was away from the team for long stretches and
sometimes hard to find, Guillen said.
Guillen wasn’t around to see most of Colon’s impressive outing _
the outspoken manager was ejected in the first inning for arguing a
called third strike against slugger Paul Konerko. Guillen
immediately took to Twitter during the game, calling the ejection
pathetic and saying it would cost him a pricey fine.
It was Guillen’s 26th career ejection and first this season.
Buehrle walked leadoff batter Derek Jeter in the first and Alex
Rodriguez blooped a two-out single that put runners at the corners.
Cano lined a 1-1 pitch into the right-field stands _ not far
from where late substitute Brent Lillibridge made two dazzling
catches in a row Tuesday night to rob the Yankees of a ninth-inning
comeback in a 3-2 loss.
Cano has homered in two straight and four of his last five home
Colon wriggled out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the
second. He gave up three straight one-out singles in the sixth and
feigned firing his glove away when Dunn’s base hit went through the
box and into center field.
Colon recovered by getting Alex Rios on a flyball and throwing a
called third strike past A.J. Pierzynski.
NOTES: After the game, Girardi said a battery of tests revealed
that Hughes has a low-level risk of a circulatory problem. The team
is sending him to St. Louis to see a specialist, Dr. William
Thompson. … New York 1B Mark Teixeira was lifted for a
pinch-hitter in the eighth. Girardi said Teixeira has a sore
shoulder. … Colon hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch in the third,
the seventh time Quentin has been plunked this season. No other
major league player had more than four going into Wednesday. …
Quentin hit his major league-leading 13th double in the first. …
Chicago started 44-year-old Omar Vizquel at third base. … Girardi
said he’s confident that struggling setup man Rafael Soriano will
find his form. “I believe this guy is too talented for this to
continue,” Girardi said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)