Soggy weather is keeping Troy Tulowitzki on the bench again.
Colorado (19-13) opened this three-game series with Tuesday's 2-0 win, as Carlos Gonzalez 's two-run homer proved to be enough.
Tulowitzki, the NL's second-leading hitter with a .348 average, missed the game with lingering soreness in his left leg. The Rockies were expecting him back Wednesday, but given the damp conditions expected throughout the night, Colorado elected to play it safe and sit him out for a second straight game.
Manager Walt Weiss , trainer Keith Dugger and Tulowitzki met in Weiss' office for quite a bit before reaching the decision. Tulowitzki says he will be available to pinch hit and "hopefully come up in a big spot and get a big hit for the team."
The Rockies overcame steady rain and lightning plus the Yankees on Tuesday, and they've also dealt with snow, bitter cold and winds at Coors Field this season.
"Hopefully in two months we'll play in good weather here," said Gonzalez, also among the league leaders with a .322 average.
The left fielder has been on a tear of late, batting .429 with three doubles, three homers and six RBIs in his last seven games.
"I always have a good feeling when CarGo's in the box," Weiss said. "He can change the game with one swing."
Colorado, though, hasn't won two straight since a season-high eight-game winning streak April 12-20.
Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.91) is expected to get a chance to change that.
The right-hander has failed to complete five innings in two of his last three starts, and he was lifted after four in last Wednesday's 7-3 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers . He allowed three runs and five hits with two walks while throwing 92 pitches.
Nicasio didn't get a decision in his only meeting with the Yankees on June 26, 2011. He tossed four scoreless innings before giving up three runs and two homers while exiting after the fifth in a 6-4 loss at New York.
The Yankees (18-13) will try to get to Nicasio again after losing their last two road games via shutouts. They haven't been blanked in three straight away from home since Aug. 22-24, 1929.
New York, which was limited to four singles Tuesday, has dropped four of five on the road, batting .191 in those games.
"It's hard to win games when you get four hits and don't put any runs on the board," said Vernon Wells , who is 1 for 12 in his last three road games.
Robinson Cano is 0 for 8 over the past two contests away from the Bronx, but is hitting .365 as a visitor on the season.
Phelps' first start resulted in a 5-4 win over Houston last Wednesday, but he wasted a four-run lead by surrendering that many in the top of fourth before leaving two outs in the sixth and the score tied. He also surrendered eight hits while plunking two batters.
"I know he expected more of himself but I was pretty pleased," manager Joe Girardi said.
Phelps has surrendered five runs - three earned - with five strikeouts in four innings of relief over two interleague appearances.
|New York Yankees|
|May 05, 2013||Eduardo Nunez||Day-to-Day||Left game - tightness in left ribcage|
|May 03, 2013||David Robertson||Day-to-Day||Sore left hamstring|
|April 28, 2013||Kevin Youkilis||15-Day DL||Lumbar spine strain|
|April 28, 2013||Joba Chamberlain||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 27, 2013||Francisco Cervelli||60-Day DL||Fractured right hand|
|April 27, 2013||Ivan Nova||15-Day DL||Right triceps inflammation|
|May 07, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Sore groin|
|May 03, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Leg soreness|
|April 29, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Strained left shoulder|
|April 20, 2013||Jhoulys Chacin||15-Day DL||Left lower back strain|
|April 20, 2013||Todd Helton||15-Day DL||Left forearm inflammation|
|April 20, 2013||Jhoulys Chacin||15-Day DL||Left lower back strain|
DENVER (AP) -- Everyone knows Vernon Wells can hit and play the outfield. Turns out, he has some range at third base, too.
That's right, third base.
Wells' reward for scoring the go-ahead run in the ninth was taking the field at the hot corner - a position he's never played before. He looked rather sharp, too, on his one and only grounder.
"That was one of the cooler moments of my career," Wells said.
While his glove work preserved the win, pinch-hitter Brennan Boesch 's hustle on an infield single with the bases loaded allowed Wells to score the winning run as the New York Yankees beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Wednesday night.
"Once Boesch was called safe, I was like a little kid just jumping around," said Wells, who also added a two-run homer in the first. "Then I quickly stopped when I realized, `OK, I've got to go play third.' I've got to get my head together."
With the Yankees' bench depleted, manager Joe Girardi had to get creative in the field for the ninth. So much so that Wells wound up jogging to third - with his outfield glove. But he fielded Carlos Gonzalez 's slow hopper for the second out.
Mariano Rivera enticed Wilin Rosario to fly out to end the game as baseball's best closer earned his 12th save in 12 chances.
"Taking groundballs while Mo was warming up - throwing the ball around and I'm throwing the ball to Mariano Rivera ?" Wells said. "It's a cool feeling."
Wells began the ninth with a single off Rafael Betancourt (1-1) and was credited with a stolen base when shortstop Jonathan Herrera dropped the ball while applying the tag. Lyle Overbay drew a walk and Ichiro Suzuki sacrificed them over.
After an intentional walk to Jayson Nix to load the bases, pinch-hitter Travis Hafner struck out. Boesch sent a two-out sharp grounder to Nolan Arenado , who briefly looked at second before double-clutching and then throwing across the diamond. First baseman Todd Helton thought Boesch was out and began heading to the dugout, but first base umpire Phil Cuzzi ruled him safe.
"Felt like he was out," Helton said. "I don't know what the replay showed. It was close. Yeah, it's a tough call. It's a shame the game had to be decided on a call like that."
Manager Walt Weiss briefly argued with Cuzzi before walking off the field.
"Said it was really close but thought he beat it," Weiss said of the conversation.
Boesch will second that opinion. After all, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound outfielder is faster than he looks.
"I thought I was safe," Boesch said. "But I kind of lost my balance trying to run as hard as I could and I had that really pretty crash landing.
"I don't think he (Arenado) has been in the league very long so maybe ... I think he thought he had more time."
Arenado realizes that tiny bobble cost him.
"Obviously, if I get the ball out a little quicker, he's out," the rookie said.
The wind blowing in on a cool and damp night meant very little hitting for either team, just 10 combined hits. The only early offense was a pair of two-run homers, one by Wells on a 94 mph fastball from Juan Nicasio in the first and the other a drive off the bat of Helton in the second.
David Robertson (2-0) worked his way out of a one-out situation in the eighth when he plunked pinch-hitter Troy Tulowitzki , who was then replaced by Eric Young Jr. Young then stole second, but Herrera lined out to second and Dexter Fowler grounded out to first.
Chris Nelson 's first hit with the Yankees came in the stadium that's quite familiar for him. Nelson, who was traded from Colorado to New York on May 1, snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a single in the seventh that Fowler misplayed and allowed Nelson to hustle to third.
David Phelps was solid except the one hiccup to Helton. He lasted six innings and allowed three hits.
Like Phelps, Nicasio settled into a groove after encountering early trouble. He allowed two hits in the first - including Wells' seventh homer of the season - but only gave up a walk to the next 15 hitters he faced.
Nicasio went five innings in the no-decision, striking out five and walking one.
Girardi employed a different type of strategy on Wednesday, inserting pitcher David Phelps into the No. 8 spot in the batting order and moving catcher Austin Romine to ninth. Girardi borrowed the idea from former St. Louis skipper from Tony La Russa.
Girardi's tactic was a way to gain more favorable matchups deeper in the game against the Rockies' bullpen. It's the first time a Yankees pitcher has batted in a spot other than ninth since interleague play began in 1997, according to STATS.
The last Yankees pitcher to bat eighth was Don Larsen in 1957, STATS said.
Weiss decided to hold out Tulowitzki for a second straight game. Not so much because of soreness in his legs as the soggy weather. Weiss didn't want to take a risk with his All-Star slugger.
NOTES: It's the first time New York has won in the Mile High City since June, 19, 2002. ... Before the game, the Rockies presented Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with a $5,000 check for his foundation. ... The Yankees will send LHP CC Sabathia (4-3) to the mound Thursday in the series finale. The Rockies will counter with LHP Jeff Francis (1-2).