Yankees Slam Cleveland
By HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam for his first homer of the season, Brett Gardner had a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning and the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 Monday night to spoil Nick Swisher’s first game back in the Bronx.
Andy Pettitte lasted only 4 2-3 innings in a wild return from the disabled list _ his 500th career start. Shawn Kelly (3-0) and three other relievers held the Indians scoreless the rest of the way to help New York win for the second time in nine games.
Yankees designated hitter Travis Hafner, wearing Swisher’s old No. 33, homered against his former team in the seventh off Justin Masterson (8-4), who matched a season high by allowing seven runs.
Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera had to be helped off the field after straining his right quadriceps running out a grounder in a three-run fifth.
Kelly pitched 1 1-3 innings, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson one each of hitless relief, and Mariano Rivera retired Swisher on a fly to left with a runner on second for his 20th save in 21 chances.
After a brief thunderstorm canceled batting practice, the Indians put a runner in scoring position in the first when Mike Aviles singled and went to second on Pettitte’s wild pitch. With two outs, Swisher walked up to the plate to a sustained ovation.
He stepped out of the batter’s box for a moment with that familiar, toothy grin on his face. A moment later, the switch-hitter settled in from the right side to face a pitcher he called a certain Hall of Famer.
But Swisher wouldn’t step out when plate umpire Manny Gonzalez called strike three to end the first inning. Swisher dropped his bat and held his spot in the box while discussing the call with Gonzalez.
The popular outfielder was upset last October when he was booed by the “Bleacher Creatures” during a punchless playoffs. Before the game Monday, though, he insisted he was “living in the now, bro,” and wasn’t worried about his reception.
When Swisher took his position at first base in the bottom of the first, the “Bleacher Creatures” showed him all was forgiven. They chanted his name _ a tradition normally reserved for Yankees only. Swisher turned and saluted the crew, just as he did with New York from 2009-12, although usually from right field.
Swisher gave the Indians the lead in the third when he hit a grounder to third base with runners on second and third. David Adams fielded the ball and tried to tag Aviles, who was advancing to third. Aviles was called out but Michael Bourn scored from third.
Swisher scored on Carlos Santana’s two-run double in the fifth after walking during a stretch in which Pettitte threw 10 straight balls and the second of two wild pitches.
Lyle Overbay got the first outfield putout of his 13-year big league career to end a bases-loaded threat in the fifth, catching Yan Gomes’ shallow popup on the run.
Overbay was given his first start in the outfield in part because Curtis Granderson (broken knuckle) is on the disabled list for the second time this season, and the Yankees optioned Brennan Boesch to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Pettitte.
Santana’s double chased Pettitte in his first outing since going to the DL on May 17 with a strained muscle in his upper back. Pettitte gave up seven hits and four runs and was left stuck on 249 career wins. He walked three and struck out three, and couldn’t protect a three-run lead.
Teixeira gave him that cushion with his eighth career slam in the third off Masterson into the first row beyond the short porch in right field. They were Teixeira’s first RBIs since he was activated from the disabled list Friday. He missed the first two months of the season with a wrist injury sustained in early March.
Masterson had pitched a marvelous four-hitter against New York on May 13 and was 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA against the Yankees _ but still hasn’t beaten them in the Bronx. He was lifted after allowing Hafner’s one-out homer in the seventh.
In all, Masterson allowed nine hits and seven runs in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked three.
NOTES: The Yankees released OF Ben Francisco. … Drew Stubbs snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a double in the fifth. … The Indians were playing the first of nine straight games on the road against the Yankees, Detroit and Texas. … Yankees RHP David Phelps (3-3) faces LHP Scott Kazmir (3-2) on Tuesday.
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