An Alex Rodriguez two-run single in the fifth inning proved to be the difference as the Bombers edged the Kansas City Royals, 3-1. Freddy Garcia got the start on the hill and gave the Yankees 6+ innings of one-run ball. The bullpen trio of David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera recorded the last nine outs in the win. Rafael Soriano was not available tonight, due to some light soreness in his elbow. With the win, the Yankees improve to 20-13 on the season and 13-6 at the New House.

Ready Freddy

Recap

After mashing two home runs Sunday in Texas, Derek Jeter brought his suddenly sizzling bat back to the Bronx. Jeter went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Jeter’s knocked in Brett Gardner in the third inning, after Gardner tripled to deep right center. The moment of the game came in the fifth inning when A-Rod stepped to the plate with bases loaded and two-men out. Rodriguez roped a 2-2 fastball up the middle, plating the decisive Yankee runs.

Garcia pitched well enough to earn his second win of the season. He scattered six hits and gave up his only run on a Melky Cabrera solo home run. I was sitting in 203 tonight and the Creatures heckled Melky all game long. ‘Yankee reject’ was just one of the few nicknames the Melk Man received.

David Robertson came on in relief of Garcia in the seventh inning with two runners on base and no one out. Robertson educed a flyout, strikeout, walk, and another strikeout to escape the jam unscathed. Joba came on for the eighth and was dealing absolute cheddar. His fastballs were coming in at 97-98 MPH as he fanned two of the three hitters he faced. Mo was Mo in the ninth, making an acrobatic play on a ground ball to start a 1-4-3 double play to end the game. Rivera now has 13 saves on the season.

Mentioned above, Soriano did not pitch due to some tenderness in his elbow. He said he’s fine, but will have an MRI on Wednesday.

Key Stats:

2.61: Garcia’s 2011 ERA

.283: Jeter’s batting average

21 in 29: A-Rod now has 21 RBIs in 29 games this year.

What’s Next?

Same two teams, same time on Wednesday night.

7:05 PM: Vin Mazzaro (N/A) vs. AJ Burnett (4-2, 3.71 ERA)