NEW YORK -- Eduardo Nunez doubled to lead off the sixth inning and came in to score on a double play and Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 11th consecutive save of the season and the 619th of his career, to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The win enabled the Yankees (17-10) to take two-of-three from the Astros (8-20), who played in their first American League series against the Yankees.
Boone Logan pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of starter David Phelps to earn his second win of the season. David Robertson hurled a perfect eighth inning, striking out two, turning it over to Rivera, who has not shown any sign of rust or age since missing most of the 2012 season with a torn ACL.
Rivera, whose 10 saves in April was the second best month of his brilliant career, opened May with another solid inning to nail down the win. After allowing a leadoff single to Brandon Barnes, Rivera got Matt Dominguez to line into an unassisted double play by Robinson Cano at second base. Rivera then struck out Marwin Gonzalez to end the game.
Nunez doubled off losing pitcher Paul Clemens (1-1), moved to third on a passed ball, then scored when Ichiro Suzuki grounded to first. Lyle Overbay, who had walked, remained in the rundown long enough to let Nunez score the game-winning run.
The Yankees wasted little time getting to Astros starter Eric Bedard, scoring single runs in both the first and second innings, then adding two solo homers in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
Ichiro Suzuki led off the game with a triple off the wall in right-center and scored on Jayson Nix's single, giving the Yanks a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, the Yankees drew three straight walks off Bedard and Chris Stewart drove in one run with a sacrifice fly.
The Yankees got solo homers from Cano and Ben Francisco in the third.
For Cano, it was his eighth homer of the season, while it was the first homer and RBI for the struggling Francisco.
Both homers barely reached the seats, Cano getting in the second row of the right-field bleachers, while Francisco, who entered the game hitting a paltry .103, just cleared the fence in left, over the outstretched glove of Houston left fielder Brandon Barnes.|
However, Phelps gave the lead away in the top of the fourth, allowing four runs, tying the game at 4-4. Phelps hit two consecutive batters, the second being Fernando Martinez with the bases loaded to drive in a run. Carlos Pena and Dominguez both had RBI singles in the inning and Barnes drove in a run with a fielder's choice.
NOTES: Cano's homer was his 185th as a Yankee, drawing him even with Paul O'Neill for 17th place on the all-time Yankee home run list. ... Mark Teixiera, who had been rehabilitating a wrist injury in Tampa, was at the game and took part in pregame fielding workouts, but he's yet to swing a bat. ... The Yankees received word that OF Curtis Granderson (broken forearm) had his first two at-bats in an extended spring training game in Tampa. ... Yankees 3B Kevin Youkilis revealed he has a bulging disc in his back, thus the reason for his current status on the disabled list. Youkilis received an epidural shot on Tuesday. He was feeling better. ... Jose Altuve had two hits Tuesday, giving him 35 for the month of April, setting a new club record for hits for a second baseman in April. Craig Biggio had 33 in April of 1998. Altuve had 31 last year in his rookie season. ... The Astros headed back to Houston to begin a 10-game home stand, hosting the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers. It's the Astros' longest home stand in their initial season in the American League.