Brett Gardner, Stephen Drew power Yankees past Red Sox

By on August 4, 2014

Brett Gardner belts his fifth home run of the week, 15th of the season, to put the Yankees ahead, 8-7, as they take two of three from the Red Sox.Jim Rogash/Getty Images Brett Gardner belts his fifth home run of the week, 15th of the season, to put the Yankees ahead, 8-7, as they take two of three from the Red Sox.

BOSTON — Until Thursday, Stephen Drew and Esmil Rogers were just a couple of underperforming players on AL East clubs. That was the day the Yankees brought them in, Drew in a trade with Boston and Rogers on a waiver claim from Toronto. Sunday night they were part of an important win in a playoff drive.

Drew drove in four runs, Rogers picked up a victory in his Yankee debut with three no-hit innings of relief, and Brett Gardner hit a sixth-inning home run that broke a tie that sent the Yanks to an 8-7 win over the Red Sox before a sellout crowd of 38,035 at Fenway Park.

But this was a win that was hard to celebrate, given the Yankees may have lost another staring pitcher. David Phelps, who has been at the top of the club’s rotation since it was beset by injuries, was forced from the game with elbow inflammation. He will be examined in New York Monday, but his next turn in the rotation, Friday against the Indians at the Stadium, is in doubt.

Phelps has been pitching with some discomfort on the outside of the elbow — better news than if it were inside, but still not good — since he pitched against the Reds July 18. He said that Sunday “was the most intense it’s felt” and it showed as he got knocked around for five runs in two innings before coming out.

“The last couple starts, it would loosen up — I’d be good to go,” said Phelps, who is 5-5 with a 4.24 ERA. “This time it just didn’t loosen up. It was just there. That was the cause for concern.”

Stephen Drew drives in four runs against his former team, going 2-for-4 on the night.Jim Rogash/Getty Images Stephen Drew drives in four runs against his former team, going 2-for-4 on the night.

He had an MRI when he first felt the discomfort and it showed no structural damage to the ligaments and tendons in the elbow. There is inflammation where the triceps enters the joint.

“I believe he’s going to pitch again — I don’t know if it’ll be his next turn, but I believe he’s going to pitch again,” Joe Girardi said. “He had the MRI before and it came back clean. He might need a little timeout.”

Rogers is a candidate to take that turn. After making 16 relief appearances with the Jays and pitching to a 6.97 ERA, he was starting in Triple-A when he got put on waivers.

Gardner’s homer was his fifth in the seven-day, six-game road trip and it allowed the Yanks to come through it 3-3, stay 5 games back of the Orioles in the division and close to within 1½ games of the Blue Jays for the second AL wild card. The Yankees overcame two three-run deficits before Gardner put them up for good.

CJ GUNTHER/EPA David Phelps leaves the game in the third inning with inflammation in his right elbow.

“It’s nice not having to run to beat out an infield hit or a hustle double or triple,” Gardner said. “It’s definitely nice for a change.”

Drew, the starting shortstop for Boston when it won the 2013 World Series, batted .176 in 39 games for the Sox, but now has five RBI in three games with the Yanks.

“I am just coming in here and being the best I can,” he said. “With the experience I have, hopefully it will pay off.”

Dellin Betances pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. David Robertson tossed a scoreless ninth and earned his 29th save with the help of a big double play started by third baseman Chase Headley snaring a Brock Holt line drive. Carlos Beltran had two hits and two runs scored.

Chase Headley slides safely into home plate behind Brian McCann in the fifth inning.Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Chase Headley slides safely into home plate behind Brian McCann in the fifth inning.

David Ortiz’s two-run homer to dead center off Phelps made it 5-3 in the second and Dustin Pedroia’s two-run shot over the Green Monster off Chase Whitley in the fourth had Boston up 7-4.

Drew had a key hit — a two-run double — in the Yanks’ second three-run rally, in the fourth, as they tied the score.

He was unsigned until late May because after not accepting Boston’s qualifying offer, teams would have had to give up a draft pick to get him. “This is a good player,” Girardi said. “He didn’t have a lot of at-bats to get ready for the season; he was rushed and I think it probably took him some time to get going.”

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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