Vernon Wells bounced a single to shallow left-field leading-off the 9th inning against Colorado Rockies’ closer Rafael Betancourt (1-1, 1.88). He was awarded a steal of 2nd-base when Rockies’ shortstop Jonny Herrera dropped a perfect pick-off throw from catcher Wilin Rosario. Wells moved to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt from Ichiro Suzuki and after Betancourt struck-out Travis Hafner with the bases loaded, Brennan Boesch singled-in Wells with the winning run as the New York Yankees squeaked-out a 3-2 win over Colorado Wednesday night at Coors Field in Denver. Super-slow-motion replays showed Nolan Arenado’s throw narrowly beat Boesch to 1st-base, but umpire Phil Cuzzi saw it otherwise, and the Rockies couldn’t put anything over on future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the inning.
A pair of 2-run homers constituted most of the action over the first eight innings. Brett Gardner singled leading-off the game against Rockies starter Juan Nicasio and came around on Wells’ 7th of the season. Colorado tied it an inning and a half later when Rosario doubled with one out and Todd Helton followed with a big fly of his own, Helton’s 2nd of 2013.
Nicasio went 5 innings, throwing 91 pitches, 58 strikes. He threw 61 of those pitches in innings 1, 2, and 3, 30 in innings 4 and 5. He surrendered the 2 runs on 2 hits, struck-out 5 and walked one. David Phelps went 6 for New York. David Robertson (2-0, 3.55) pitched the 8th for the win. It was Rivera’s 12th 2013 save.
The Rockies’ bullpen continued its superior work. Josh Outman relieved Nicasio in the 6th and delivered 2 shutout frames. Rex Brothers pitched a scoreless eighth and Betancourt simply couldn’t overcome an excess of traffic in the controversial 9th.
The game came-off without weather issues despite a dire forecast. More wet Rocky Mountain springtime is expected for Thursday afternoon when the two teams meet for the series at 1:10 pm MDT at Coors Field. Jeff Francis (1-1, 7.27) will go for Colorado against New York ace CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.31). No blackout. TV’s on ROOT.