The Yankees are a team that is built around its power hitting and bullpen. However, the Yankees relied on solid, fundamental plays to top the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. Of note, Eric Chavez broke up a double play in the second inning that led to three Yankee runs. Winning pitcher, AJ Burnett picked off Rajai Davis in the fifth inning and Russell Martin gunned down a stealing Juan Rivera in the sixth inning to end the Toronto threat. Burnett didn’t have his best stuff today, but battled through six innings and earned his fourth win. No Yankee starter registered more than a hit and despite being out-hit by the Jays in general (11 to 7), the Yankees prevailed and moved to 15-9 on the season.

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One word to describe Burnett’s performance? Gritty.

The right hander didn’t have his best stuff, but found ways to wiggle out of jams in almost every inning. Burnett gave up nine hits and four runs over six frames, but turned a 5-4 lead over to the bullpen in the seventh inning. Things went according to plan as Jo-So-Mo gave up no runs on two hits in the final three frames. Of the 38 pitches thrown by the bullpen, 29 of them were strikes. It’s good to see the pen starting to click again.

The Yankee offense only registered only extra base hit, a Mark Teixeira double, but played sound, fundamental ball in the win. The Yankees made their hits count, as they went 4 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Key Stats

9: Mariano Rivera leads the American League with nine saves on the season. His 2.13 ERA isn’t so bad, either.

3.93: Despite having a 4-1 record, Burnett’s ERA currently sits at 3.93 which in retrospect is better than 2010, but good enough for us moving forward.

May 4th 2010: Burnett grabbed his fourth win on May 4th last season. He beat it by four days this year. Keep it up, AJ.

What’s Next?

Rubber game on Sunday at 1:05 PM. Yanks head out to Detroit after the game.

1:05 PM, YES: Jesse Litsch (2-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (1-2, 5.82 ERA)