Photo: AP Images
NEW YORK (AP) — For the first four innings, the Yankees looked late at the plate — and it wasn’t because they were tired from Old Timers’ Day festivities.Nope, they were behind on all those 96 mph fastballs Rockies rookie Juan Nicasio was zipping over the corners, so New York made an adjustment the second time around.
“We started looking for the fastball more,” Jorge Posada said.
The adjustment paid off in the fifth. Posada followed Nick Swisher’s two-run homer with a drive of his own, and Eduardo Nunez hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh after shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made an error, leading the Yankees to a 6-4 win over Colorado.
Mark Teixeira also homered for New York and Alex Rodriguez drove in a run in his sixth straight game.
Ty Wigginton connected twice for his second multihomer game this week and Chris Iannetta also homered for Colorado.
It was New York’s first series win against the Rockies since sweeping a three-game set at the old Yankee Stadium in 2004. New York improved to 22-4 in day games.
“It was a great day overall,” manager Joe Girardi said.
With a handful of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters, including Don Larsen, at Yankee Stadium for the 65th Old Timers’ Day, Nicasio did not allow a baserunner until Robinson Cano singled with one out in the fifth.
Nicasio had been falling behind batters all game yet fought back nicely with his crisp fastball, but he left a 3-1 pitch over the middle of the plate to Swisher, the next batter after Cano, and the switch-hitter drilled it into the right-field stands.
“In the first two innings he was consistently 95, 96 (mph). Then starting in the third, fourth, fifth inning, the velocity started dropping down to 92, 93,” Swisher said. “I think that has a little bit to do with it.”
Posada got the crowd of 47,894 really rocking with his eighth homer of the year to make it 3-all. It was the third time the Yankees have connected for two in a row this season.
“It might have distorted his focus a bit,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said of the 24-year-old Nicasio. “You have to remember that he’s had about six or seven career starts.”
Posada walked with one out in the seventh and advanced to second when Russell Martin’s sharp grounder hit off Tulowitzki’s glove. Nunez singled off Matt Belisle (5-3) and pinch-runner Chris Dickerson crossed home plate with a belly-flop slide.
Joba Chamberlain, out after having Tommy John surgery, immediately tweeted “Do it Nunez!!!” after the shortstop filling in for Derek Jeter, who turned 37 on Sunday, gave New York the lead.
Larsen tossed the only postseason perfect game, for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series.
Boone Logan (2-2) got three outs in the seventh, David Robertson was perfect in the eighth and Mariano Rivera struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save
“It feels good. It feels like I’m getting in a little bit of a rhythm,” said Logan, who has allowed only two runs over his last 10 2-3 innings.
Wigginton gave the Rockies a 4-3 lead in the sixth with a drive to left, his second homer Sunday and 12th this season. Wigginton hit two against Cleveland on Wednesday. He also homered Saturday against New York.
“I’m confident my approach at the plate works,” Wigginton said. “Just be consistent and stick to it. That’s when it will come to you.”
The Yankees evened it up in the bottom half with their first run not scored on a homer. Brett Gardner reached with a perfectly placed drag bunt and stole second. Curtis Granderson walked, ending Nicasio’s day.
Belisle relieved and Gardner advanced on Teixeira’s fielder’s choice. Rodriguez then grounded a single between the third baseman and shortstop.
Nicasio gave up four runs and four hits in five-plus innings. He struck out two and walked one in his sixth big league start.
Yankees rookie Ivan Nova, about 5 months younger than Nicasio, allowed baserunners in each of his six innings. The Rockies had runners on with one out in the second and fourth but Nova induced double-play balls to quash any rally.
Wigginton homered in the second, Iannetta connected leading off the fifth and Todd Helton had a sacrifice fly to put Colorado up 3-0.
Teixeira homered after Matt Reynolds brushed him back with a pitch in the eighth. Tulowitzki mimicked his boyhood idol, Jeter, with a jump throw in the hole to end the eighth.
NOTES: The Yankees will start Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia against the Brewers in a series that starts Tuesday. The off day allowed manager Joe Girardi to skip journeyman Brian Gordon. … Jeter (calf) did light jogging for the second straight day in Tampa, Fla. … Wigginton has 14 career multihomer games. … The Rockies will play the Cubs in Chicago on Monday in a makeup of a rainout from April 27.
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