That’s right folks, Chad Gaudin gets his name in the headline. The duo of Phil Hughes and Chad Gaudin pitched eight innings and held the Athletics to only three runs as the Yankee offense supplied the rest of the fireworks as the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 9-3. Phil Hughes got his 16th win of the season, which suddenly has only thirty games remaining. With the win and the Blue Jays’ domination of the Rays, the Yankees take a game lead in the AL East while they move to a record of 82-50.

These days, a Ray loss is as good as a Yankee win. - Canadian Press

Initial Reaction:

The Yankee offense has been coming together at a great time to do so: when the starters are questionable. Phil Hughes got some quick help with three runs scored in the first inning (see below).  More quick runs knocked out Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro after only 3.2 innings, and the Yankee pitchers never had to look back.

These home games against the A’s, Orioles, and Blue Jays are the ones that are necessary to win, as pointed out earlier by columnist Matt Vereb. My take on this series and this week? Sweep or bust, and five wins. By the way Matt, start the count for your article, as the Yankees are now 1-0 and the Rays are 0-1.

Positives From The Game:

Hot Start: The Yankees kept their onslaught from yesterday going early in the first inning, highlighted by a triple by Jorge Posada. Yes, a triple by Jorgie. Maybe the ball was dropped on the relay to third, and maybe it bounced off the wall all the way back into shallow left, but it is viewed in the box score as a triple.

Swish Says See Ya!: Nick Swisher hit a bomb to right field for his 25th long-ball of the year. It is almost forgotten that he came to the Yankees last year with all the big names.

He’s Red Hot!: Mark Teixeira crushed his 30th home run of the year into the second deck in right field to expand the Yankees lead to 7-2. As my dear friend Michael Kay likes to say, “there was no doubt about it.”

Negatives From The Game:

Sure the Yankees didn’t score in their last four innings in which they batted, but don’t be a Debby Downer.

Interesting Facts:

Curtis Granderson was 1-17 until his solo shot in the fourth inning tonight.

With the Blue Jays shellacking of the Rays, the Yankees and the Rays do not have the same result (win, loss, bye) for the first time in nine days.

What’s Next?:

7:05 PM. The YES Network. Tune in to see which AJ Burnett shows up.

Projected Starters:

Brett Anderson (3-5, 3.32 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (9-12, 5.17 ERA)