In fact, he allowed more runs in the fifth inning alone last night than he had during the entire month of July — a month where he bounced back from a dreadful June to the tune of a 2.00 ERA. Burnett’s been prone, in the past, to the Very Bad Inning that cancels out whatever else he’s done in a particular game. But what happened in the fifth inning last night was just ridiculous: Five Blue Jays doubled off Burnett, another homered, and another walked (not in that order) before Joe Girardi finally yanked him from the game.
For good measure, the very next batter doubled off of Sergio Mitre to cap a seven-run inning and tie the American League record for doubles by a team in an inning. The Yankees would show some life after that half-inning — cutting the lead to four, then three, then two — but Burnett had dug them just too big a hole in the 8-6 loss.
Nick Swisher homered twice in the game, Mark Teixeira homed once, and Alex Rodriguez homered zero times. A-Rod, once again, went hitless amid the flashbulbs and remains stuck at 599. The lack of hits lately — home runs or otherwise — is making this “chase” that much more difficult to watch.
The Rays, by the way, beat the Twins last night 4-2, and moved into a tie for first place — the first time since June 20 that the Yankees haven’t been atop the division by themselves.