The Yankees edged the Boston Red Sox 8-7 on Sunday Night Baseball. They won the second and third games of the series after losing the first against their rivals at Fenway Park, and ended their road trip to Arlington and Boston with a 3-3 record.
David Phelps got the start for the Yankees and was not able to give the Yankees the quality innings that he had in his previous starts. Phelps had a 3.29 ERA in his last nine starts, but he allowed five runs in two innings Sunday night. The Yankees were able to get their second win in a row because of a great offensive output, but Phelps might have to miss his next start because of right elbow inflammation.
“We will see how he is tomorrow,” Girardi said. “He was pitching well. He had an MRI (a few weeks ago) and the tests came back negative. I think he will pitch again, but it might not be his next start.” The inflammation is a little worse now, but Girardi didn’t seem too concerned.
Going back to the win against the Rangers on July 29, the Yankees have scored a combined 26 runs in their last three wins and 14 runs in their last two wins. Brett Gardner and Stephen Drew, who was acquired just before the trade deadline from the Red Sox, drove in a combined seven of the eight runs. Gardner drove in three including his homer off of Craig Breslow, and Drew had four RBIs from a fielder’s choice, a double and a single.
Gardner was only a triple away from the cycle. He hit .478 with five homers on the six-game road trip. His homer in the sixth, which ended up being the game winner, was his 15th of the season after hitting a career-high of eight in the 2013 season. Gardner’s double to deep right scored Carlos Beltran and Drew to tie the score at three. He has been an offensive catalyst and has given the team many more homers than Girardi expected.
“Hopefully we can take this game home with us, get on a roll against the Tigers and maybe get a little winning streak going,” Gardner said.
Drew has made a seamless transition to second base after not playing the position in his previous eight seasons in the majors. To end the second inning, Drew made an outstanding play where he caught a grounder near second base and was able to throw across his body to Mark Teixeira at first for the out. His single in the fifth that scored Brian McCann and Chase Headley tied the score at seven.
Girardi thought Drew would be able to play second and he has not disappointed. “It looks like he has done it before,” Girardi said. “We thought he would be able to do it, and it looks like he can.”
Drew has a .272 average in his three games with the Yankees, and in 16 games since 7/11 he has hit .268, which is a great improvement from his first 25 games. Drew has a career average of .261 and a .183 average right now, which proves that he should continue hitting the way he has recently and not how he hit earlier in the season.
Headley drove in the run that wasn’t one of the seven credited to Gardner or Drew. Headley’s double to left in the fifth sent Beltran home for his second run scored of the game. After Headley’s hit on Sunday, he has one hit or more in 10 of his 12 games since coming to the Yankees from the San Diego Padres. Headley and Drew have both proven to be quality additions by Cashman since they have performed so far and are upgrades at their respective positions.
After Chase Whitley allowed two runs in relief of Phelps, Esmil Rogers, Dellin Betances and David Robertson combined to throw five hitless innings. Rogers was acquired off of waivers from the Blue Jays on July 31, and he was able to win his first game with the Yankees after not allowing a hit in three innings and striking out three. Rogers had a 6.97 ERA before being sent to the minors by the Blue Jays on May 21, but he pitched very well in AAA and could replace Phelps if his inflammation keeps him out.
Betances, after hitting triple digits on Saturday, had two strikeouts and picked up his 17th hold of the season, and Robertson recorded his 29th save in 31 chances. Robertson was helped by Brock Holt lining into a double play as a result of Mookie Betts attempting to steal.
Pineda threw 94 MPH 3.1 innings on Sunday for the AAA Scranton RailRiders. He allowed three hits and no runs in his 58 pitches. This is an encouraging sign and could mean that he will only need one more rehab start. If Phelps only misses one start, Pineda would likely replace Chris Capuano.
The Yankees are now 47-2 when leading after eight innings. This was their eighth straight comeback win.
The Bronx Bombers will start a seven-game homestand with a four-game series against the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers on Monday. It will be Brandon McCarthy, who has a 2.55 ERA in four starts with the Yankees, against Max Scherzer, who is 13-3 and won the Cy Young last season. The Yankees are five games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first in the AL East and only 1.5 games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild-Card.