A.J. Burnett finally won an August game wearing pinstripes and the New York Yankees are acting like they won the Powerball-- an $82.5 million lottery maybe.
The Yankees 7-4 victory over the lowly Kansas City Royals may be a sign Burnett, the much-maligned starter, has turned the corner on another season of desperation but it is nothing to cheer about.
The game proved that the ineffective righthander still can't make it through the sixth inning.
Burnett won his first game since since June 29 and, more importantly, finally won an August game as a Yankee after eight losses in-a-row. The No. 2 starter had an 0-8 record with an ERA of 7.18 over that span.
It's been almost seven weeks since his last victory in June. He slogged along with an 0-3 record, 6.00 ERA and four no-decisions during that losing streak.
If last night was an indication of Burnett lifting the monkey from his back, he can thank a cast of Yankees for the help.
Manager Joe Girardi lifted his starter after only 88 pitches-- probably because he's seen Burnett blow up enough times in the fifth and sixth innings this season.
"With a high salary is always high expectations," said Girardi. "I think he's thrown the ball better than some of his outcomes he's had."
Burnett's final line read: 5 2/3 innings, 10 hits and three earned runs.
A big night by Derek Jeter (3-for-4, 3 RBI's) and Brett Gardner (2 hits, 2 RBI's) helped Burnett on the offensive side and Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera threw perfect innings in the eighth and ninth to save the struggling Burnett from the bench.