By CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) _ Ivan Nova combined with four relievers on a
five-hitter and the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on
Monday night to claim a share of first place in the AL East for the
first time in seven weeks.
Raul Ibanez led off the second inning with a homer and Robinson
Cano had two hits, including a run-scoring single in the first. The
surging Yankees climbed into a tie with idle Tampa Bay for the
division lead, their first return to first place since April 24.
The Yankees (35-25) have won four straight games and nine of 11
to move a season-best 10 games over .500. The Braves, held without
an extra-base hit, have lost two straight after their season-best
six-game winning streak.
Nova (8-2) gave up five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in
seven innings for his fourth straight win. He added a milestone
with a second-inning single for his first career hit.
Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada combined for three straight outs in
the eighth. Cory Wade struck out Martin Prado to open the ninth and
left-hander Boone Logan recorded the final two outs.
Randall Delgado (4-6) set a career-high with six walks as he
allowed three runs and five hits in five innings. The control
problems pushed up his pitch count early. He threw 66 pitches while
giving up a run in each of the first three innings.
Cano’s first-inning single drove in Alex Rodriguez, who doubled
off the wall in left. Rodriguez walked in the third, moved to third
on Cano’s double and scored on Delgado’s wild pitch.
Atlanta’s leadoff hitters had singles in four of the first five
innings. None advanced past second base as Nova was helped by
double plays in the first and third innings.
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher took a possible homer away
from Brian McCann in the fourth. Swisher reached up to snap
McCann’s fly ball in front of the yellow line at the top of the
wall. It was McCann’s second long out. His first-inning drive was
caught at the 400-foot mark in centerfield by Curtis Granderson.
Braves centerfielder Michael Bourn, running toward left field,
made a diving catch to take a hit from Ibanez in the seventh.
Right-hander Cory Gearrin threw two scoreless innings for
Atlanta after he was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.
NOTES: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte said his left hand is fine.
Pettitte snared a grounder from the Mets’ Scott Hairston with the
bare hand on Sunday. Pettitte no longer wore the bandage he had on
the hand after Sunday’s game. He is not expected to miss a start.
… RHP Tim Hudson, who had his start skipped Sunday due to painful
bone spurs in his right ankle, threw well in the bullpen and was
officially added to the Braves’ rotation for Wednesday’s game
against the Yankees. … Gearrin was recalled to replace RHP Julio
Teheran, who made a fill-in start for Hudson on Sunday. … Yankees
LHP CC Sabathia will make his third career start against the
Braves, his first with the Yankees, when he faces LHP Mike Minor in
Game 2 of the series on Tuesday night.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)