NEW YORK -- Ivan Nova got back on track.
The righty, who came into Saturday afternoon’s game against the San Francisco Giants with a 7.07 ERA in his previous three starts, pitched his second shutout of the season, leading the Yankees to a 6-0 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Nova (9-5), who hadn’t won since Aug. 31 (also a shutout), threw 108 pitches (73 strikes) and scattered six hits, while striking out seven (walking one) and saving a taxed bullpen.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees (82-73) once again took care of their business, but they’re still going to need help to claim the second American League wild-card spot. For a complete look at the standings, click here.
SMALL BALL: The Yankees manufactured three runs in the third to jump out in front. Their 7-8-9 batters -- Mark Reynolds (.219), Brendan Ryan (.197) and Chris Stewart (.213) -- all reached base to open the frame, and Ichiro Suzuki (sacrifice fly), Alex Rodriguez (RBI ground out) and Robinson Cano (RBI single, his 105th RBI this season) drove them home.
SORI TIME: Alfonso Soriano did it again, collecting his 17th homer and 50th RBI in Game No. 52 as a Yankee when he crushed a solo shot to lead off the sixth. Take Soriano’s pace as a Yankee, and you get 53 homers and 156 RBIs over the course of a 162-game season.
Soriano hit 17 homers in 93 games with the Cubs before being traded. Soriano is only the fifth player in history to collect at least 50 RBIs with two teams in the same season (Matt Holliday, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Beltran and David Justice).
108: That’s how many at-bats Eduardo Nunez had gone without a homer before taking Ryan Vogelsong deep for a two-run shot to left in the fourth. Nunez’s only other homer this season came Aug. 7 in Chicago.
GLOVE OF GOLD: Ryan is never going to Wally Pipp Derek Jeter with his bat, but he sure as heck could with his glove. The slick-fielding shortstop made several nice defensive plays, ranging to the second-base side of second to throw out a couple of runners.
UP NEXT: Andy Pettitte makes likely his last start in the Bronx. He’ll be opposed by ex-Mets farmhand Yusmeiro Petit (4-0, 3.08). First pitch is slated for around 1:05 p.m. Mariano Rivera’s ceremony will occur around 12:30 p.m.