NY Fans Come Through At Wrigley, Yankees Respond In A Big Way
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Another boisterous crowd packed Wrigley Field for the third straight day, and there were plenty more “Let’s go Yankees!” chants from pockets of New York fans, followed by the inevitable boos from the majority of the paid attendance of 41,828.
Then Cubs infielder Starlin Castro gave the Yankees an opening, and, boy, did they take advantage of it.
Castro’s fielding lapse during the fourth inning helped New York get back into the game, and Nick Swisher hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning to send the Cubs to a 10-4 loss on Sunday night in the finale of the Yankees’ first visit to Wrigley in eight years.
“You play 27 outs for a reason and you’ve gotta keep the pressure on a club like that,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “We just weren’t able to cash in.”
The crowd for the rubber game brought the weekend total to 126,283, setting a Wrigley Field record for a three-game series.
“A series like this, the buzz around the city, it’s almost like a playoff atmosphere,” Swisher said. “We were so excited to come here and enjoy this. It’s nice to get out of here with two wins.”
Alfonso Soriano hit his 14th homer and Aramis Ramirez had four hits for Chicago, which dropped the last two games of the series after winning four of five. Sean Marshall (3-2) pitched a perfect seventh, but failed to record an out in the eighth and was charged with two runs.
“We played so well,” Cubs starter Randy Wells said. “It’s a shame tonight ended like it did because I thought we played some great baseball. That’s the way you want things to be leading up to this game. Just didn’t pull through tonight.”
Brett Gardner added his first career leadoff homer for the Yankees, who have won eight of 10 since they were swept by Boston in a three-game series at home. Swisher finished with four RBIs and Alex Rodriguez helped spark New York’s offense with three hits and a walk.
“Just a total team effort today,” Swisher said.
Soriano’s three-run shot off CC Sabathia (9-4) made it 4-1 in the third inning, but that was it for the Cubs.
Russell Martin had a tying sacrifice fly in the sixth for New York and Swisher hit a 2-0 pitch from Chris Carpenter deep into the bleachers in right to make it 7-4. The Father’s Day shot was Swisher’s first homer at the ballpark where his father, Steve, began his major league career in 1974.
“He’s my hero, my idol and to be able to give him this gift today, I guess, is just a great day,” Nick Swisher said.
Wells gave up four runs and five hits in six innings for Chicago, hurt by costly fielding by shortstop Castro in the fourth.
With one out and Rodriguez on first, Robinson Cano hit a dribbler in front of the plate. Catcher Geovany Soto pounced on the ball and threw to second, but Castro took his foot off the bag early while trying to complete the double play and both runners were safe.
“A young mistake, but an aggressive mistake,” Quade said. “These are the things we’re trying to clean up.”
Swisher responded with a run-scoring single into right field, trimming Chicago’s lead to 4-2. After Martin walked, Eduardo Nunez drove in Cano with a groundout. Wells then got Sabathia to fly out to left to end the inning.
“I think the game was decided, as much as anything, in the fourth inning,” Quade said. “The eighth and ninth inning is a whole different ballgame if we get through that fourth inning 4-1 or 4-2.”
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