Enough Yankees Survive to Beat the Orioles

Mark Teixeira coughs his way to two big hits in 8-5 win

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, May 15, 2012  |  Updated 8:09 AM EDT
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Let's hope the Yankees are using Purell after their celebrations.

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It felt like it was going to get to the point where the Yankees training staff took a trip to the field to see a player with a badly broken leg trying to convince them that it was nothing but a flesh wound.

Monday night's game at Baltimore felt almost as farcical as a Monty Python film from the very start as the teams played in miserable weather in front of a crowd so sparse that you had to think they were giving out free crabcakes to everyone who decided not to go to the game. And then the game started and Yankee players started getting hurt by the bunches.

Ivan Nova took a batted ball off his right foot in the third inning and then left the game after turning his right ankle while fielding a ball in the sixth innings. Nova didn't have a good start -- five runs in 5.1 innings and four Orioles extra-base hits, which means Nova has now allowed 32 of them on the season -- but the hope is still that he's healthy enough to remain in the rotation.

Clay Rapada followed Nova to the mound, pitched to two hitters and then left the game because of a viral infection that either has a funky sense of timing or one that flares up when lefty relievers fail to get out lefty hitters. Raul Ibanez left the game in the ninth after taking a pitch off the elbow and the Yankees turned to Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth because David Robertson is sidelined by a ribcage injury.

Soriano nailed down the 8-5 win, a nice comeback after Nova handed over the lead to the Orioles and one that wouldn't have been possible without another member of the walking wounded. Mark Teixeira, who has been afflicted with a bad cough and a bad slump for most of the season, hit a two-run home run to break a 5-5 tie in the seventh inning.

It fits that such a night would be won with the help off a power hitter who can't stop coughing, which is just absurd enough to feel like the character in a David Lynch baseball movie more than it feels like real life. We can laugh about it now because they won, but if the Yankees had lost those players and a game we would be looking for something by Poe to express the horror of the situation.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

How funny it remains will have a lot to do with how long the injuries linger around a team that's already stretched a bit thinner than anyone would like.

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