By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ A.J. Burnett pitched neatly into the eighth
inning, Russell Martin hit a three-run homer and the New York
Yankees kept rolling right along with a 5-2 victory over the
Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
Robinson Cano tripled to start a four-run fourth inning and
Jorge Posada rounded the bases twice on his solo shot in the sixth,
which was changed to a home run after umpires watched the video
Nick Swisher had an RBI single for the Yankees, who have won
four straight and 14 of 18 overall. By taking the first two games
against Milwaukee in an interleague matchup of division leaders,
New York clinched its sixth consecutive series victory since
getting swept at home by Boston from June 7-9.
The AL East leaders announced good news on three injured
Derek Jeter could rejoin the team next week in Cleveland, ready
to resume his pursuit of 3,000 hits. Phil Hughes was sharp in a
rehab start for Double-A Trenton and could be back in the rotation
real soon. And fellow right-hander Bartolo Colon is lined up to
pitch Saturday against the Mets if all goes well this week.
Without them, the Yankees are doing just fine. They improved to
11-3 since Jeter went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained
right calf _ he was eligible to come off Wednesday, but wasn’t
Jeter’s replacement at shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, made a throwing
error to start the eighth that allowed leadoff batter Rickie Weeks
to reach safely.
That was it for Burnett (8-6), who left to a standing ovation
after losing three of his previous four starts. Helped by three
double plays, the right-hander gave up two runs and seven hits
while walking two and striking out four.
With runners at the corners, David Robertson threw a called
third strike past Corey Hart to end the inning, painting the
outside corner with a 95 mph fastball.
Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 21st save in 24 chances.
New York goes for a sweep Thursday afternoon, with CC Sabathia
pitching against the Brewers for the first time since he carried
them to the 2008 NL playoffs.
Ryan Braun had three singles and an RBI for the Brewers,
extending his career-best hitting streak to 19 games. Shaun Marcum
(7-3) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings after being
limited to four innings over his previous two starts by a strained
left hip flexor.
Milwaukee dropped to 15-26 on the road, the worst record among
winning teams in the majors. By comparison, the NL Central leaders
are 29-11 at home.
Marcum kept the Yankees off the scoreboard until giving up four
consecutive rockets to begin the fourth.
Nyjer Morgan crashed hard into the center-field fence while
chasing Cano’s triple, but seemed to be fine and stayed in the
game. Swisher followed with a single and Posada ripped a long
single off the base of the right-field wall.
Martin lifted a low 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats for his
first extra-base hit in 68 at-bats since his last homer on May 24.
That was the longest drought of his career, the Yankees said,
according to information provided by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Posada sent a liner to right in the sixth that barely cleared
the wall, caroming off a ledge behind the fence and then a fan
before bounding back toward the field.
Umpires originally ruled the ball in play and called Posada out
when the Brewers tagged him between first and second. Posada
pointed toward the right-field stands and then rounded the bases as
the umpires huddled.
He waited at first base while the umps went inside for a look at
the replay, then trotted around again when they came out and
correctly signaled home run.
Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson made a terrific,
over-the-shoulder catch to start a double play in the second, with
Hart doubled off first base.
Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but
Burnett retired Prince Fielder on an RBI groundout and then induced
a grounder from Hart to end the inning.
NOTES: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke spoke with Zack Greinke to
make sure the right-hander understood why he was lifted after two
ineffective innings Tuesday night. Roenicke felt he was quoted out
of context after the game and wanted to make sure none of his
comments were misconstrued. … Slumping 3B Casey McGehee was
dropped from fifth to seventh in the lineup, with Hart batting
fifth. … Roenicke said RHP Marco Estrada was fine after leaving
Tuesday night’s game when he was hit in the left foot by Alex
Rodriguez’s sharp grounder. But after throwing 62 pitches in that
game, Estrada won’t be available out of the bullpen until this
weekend. … As long as he handles drills OK over the next couple
of days, the Yankees anticipate Colon (strained right hamstring)
will be able to come off the disabled list Saturday to start
against the Mets at Citi Field. If not, journeyman Brian Gordon
will go again. … New York is 10-4 in interleague play. …
Christie Brinkley and Dick Ebersol were in the crowd of 46,450.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)