It was the top of the eighth inning. The Yankees were ahead 3-2. The bases were loaded. There were two outs.
And Ichiro Suzuki didn’t want the ball hit his way.
“I was hoping that it would go to right field,” said Suzuki, who was staring into the sun in left.
“Maybe my prayers weren’t good enough.”
Nope. Rajai Davis lined a ball right at him. Suzuki had trouble with it, but ended up making an extremely difficult basket catch to preserve his team’s lead. The Yankees went on to beat the Blue Jays 4-2 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday.
Suzuki, 38, stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 170 pounds.
“I’m glad I don’t have a big belly because the ball might have hit the belly and popped out,” he joked.
Suzuki, batting in the leadoff spot in place of Derek Jeter, who got the afternoon off, went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two runs scored.
• David Robertson’s struggles in September continued.
He allowed two runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning in the eighth. In this month alone, Robertson has allowed seven runs on 15 hits in nine innings.
“I had a rough day. I just didn’t really make any good pitches,” Robertson said. “I wasn’t throwing strikes. And when I’d get ahead, I wouldn’t make a good pitch. But we won the ballgame, so I can live with it.”
Robertson is hopeful that he’ll be able to pitch the nightcap.
“I’m hoping they let me get in there tonight,” he said. “I’d like to rebound after that earlier outing today.”
• Rafael Soriano picked up Robertson and finished off his fifth save of more than one inning.
After inheriting two runners from Robertson in the eighth, Soriano walked the first batter he faced, Anthony Gose, to load the bases. But Soriano got Davis to line to Suzuki to end the threat.
Soriano said he’s comfortable getting four-out saves if need be, and will see if he’ll be available for Game 2. He now has 41 saves this season and has saved New York’s past five victories.
• The Yankees have won three straight, five of six and eight of 12. ... Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 and has hit 42 doubles this season. ... Alex Rodriguez has 12 RBIs in 14 games since returning from the disabled list. ... Nick Swisher had only one RBI in his previous 13 games before singling in an insurance run in the ninth.