Roberts' one-out, bases-loaded single in the top of the 12th
inning snapped a 3-3 tie, and New York won its third extra-inning
game in six days, outlasting the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Monday at
sold-out Busch Stadium.
"I remember when he was on the other side, he was one of the guys I
didn't want to see come up," Girardi said. "I think he's able to
relax in those situations."
Roberts entered his critical at-bat against lefty sidearmer Randy
Choate (0-2) with a .217 average against left-handers. However, he
slapped an 0-1 pitch between third base and shortstop, scoring
center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury for a 4-3 edge.
Roberts kept his approach simple.
"At that point, you're just trying to get something in the
outfield," he said. "Anything but a strikeout or a ground ball to
the infielders. A walk is the worst-case scenario for them, but he's
going to try to make good pitches."
Pinch hitter Alfonso Soriano tacked on a sacrifice fly off reliever
Jason Motte, and first baseman Brendan Ryan's run-scoring single
capped the three-run rally.
Closer David Robertson gave up an unearned run in St. Louis' 12th on
an RBI double by center fielder Jon Jay, but he picked up his 11th
save. Alfredo Aceves (1-2) got the win after throwing two scoreless
Left fielder Brett Gardner may have saved Aceves from the loss in
the 11th. With Matt Holliday on first and one out, Yadier Molina
lofted Aceves' first pitch to the wall. Gardner jumped and made the
catch, preventing at least a double and perhaps a walk-off homer.
"It was an easy play because the ball was right over my head,"
Gardner said. "I wasn't able to get a good read on how far it would
go. I just tried to get back there as quick as I could."
St. Louis right fielder Allen Craig said of Molina's long fly ball,
"I thought it had a really good shot. I thought it had a really good
trajectory. It was close."
The Yankees (27-23) improved to 4-3 on their road trip, while St.
Louis (28-23) lost for just the fourth time in 14 games.
The teams and crowd of 47,311, the third-largest regular-season
crowd in stadium history, waited out a 61-minute delay before the
first pitch. A thunderstorm appeared ready to pass over the stadium,
but it dissipated.
Rain then started falling just before the first pitch and continued
through the first as each team scored a run before making an out.
Ellsbury's looping single to right-center plated Gardner for the
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Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter led off with a triple off the
right field wall and trotted home when second baseman Kolten Wong
doubled down the right field line.
New York took a 3-1 lead in the fifth off Cardinals starter Michael
Wacha. First baseman Kelly Johnson grounded an RBI single, followed
one out later by Gardner's sacrifice fly.
St. Louis tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning after
loading the bases with no outs and forcing Yankees starter Chase
Whitley from the mound.
Craig's slowly hit fielder's choice grounder plated Holliday.
Shortstop Jhonny Peralta followed with a sacrifice fly.
Whitley pitched five-plus innings, giving up eight hits and three
runs with no walks and two strikeouts. Wacha worked seven innings,
allowing four hits and three runs while walking two and striking out
New York won the bullpen duel from there, adding the 12-inning
victory to 13 and 10-inning verdicts earlier in the trip against the
Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, respectively.
"It was a huge win for our team," Gardner said. "A lot of guys
stepped up, and the bullpen did a great job."
NOTES: New York scratched 1B Mark Teixeira due to stiffness in his
right wrist and inserted Kelly Johnson into the lineup, batting
eighth. Manager Joe Girardi was hopeful that Teixeira, who leads the
team with nine homers, would be able to play Tuesday night. ... St.
Louis honored its 1964 World Series champions in pregame ceremonies,
as well as retiring Yankees SS Derek Jeter, giving Jeter a pair of
Stan Musial cufflinks as well as a $10,000 donation to his Turn 2
charitable foundation. ... New York RF Carlos Beltran (elbow) swung
a fungo bat Monday as part of his rehabilitation. Beltran, who
helped the Cardinals reach last year's World Series, hopes to avoid
surgery that would sideline him for up to three months.
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