The Yankees just completed a series where they won two out of three games against the Tampa Bay Rays. They won a much needed game yesterday by the score of 6-4 after Tampa Bay had a 3-0 lead after the third inning. It was a win that they needed because the Blue Jays also won so it allowed them to remain 1.5 games behind Toronto.
Chris Archer had dominated the Yankees in his career as he had a 1.93 ERA in six starts against the Bronx Bombers between 2012 and 2014, but the Yankees were able to score five runs (four earned) off of him. He was nearly flawless in the first five innings, but the bats heated up in the sixth as Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez hit back-to-back homers with two outs. McCann’s was a three-run blast and Rodriguez’s 28th homer gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Hitting homers has been a big part of the team’s success and the Yankees are 41-11 this season when hitting two homers in a game.
Asdrubal Cabrera, who was 5-10 in the series, hit a homer off of Dellin Betances in the eighth inning to give the Rays their fourth run. That was only the fourth homer that Betances has allowed this season. Brett Gardner grounded into a fielder’s choice to second that scored Didi Gregorius after Logan Forsythe’s error in the seventh, which ended up being the game-winning run, and then Gregorius singled right up the middle to score pinch-runner Rico Noel to give the Yankees an insurance run and make the score 6-4.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Rodriguez and Gregorius each contributed two hits and McCann’s homer gave him 25 for the season, which is a new career-high for the catcher who is in his 11th season. Andrew Miller allowed two hits in the ninth with two outs but was able to strikeout Brandon Guyer to end the game. Miller now has 31 saves in 32 chances in his first season as a closer.
The Yankees will now play an important three-game set against the struggling Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore has lost 14 of their last 17 games, which makes it important that the Yankees sweep the series. The Orioles are currently 65-71 and 13 games behind Toronto in the AL East.
In today’s matinee game at Yankee Stadium, three regulars will get the afternoon off as John Ryan Murphy will start at catcher, Jose Pirela will play second and Chris Young will play left field instead of Brett Gardner. It is a normal that Young is getting the start today because he has basically been playing against all lefty starters since he has a .323 average against southpaws this season.
Michael Pineda will pitch for the Yankees in today’s game. Pineda will look to continue the success that he had in his previous start when he only allowed one run in six innings against the Red Sox while striking out seven. One factor that could help Pineda today is that he has a 3.22 ERA in day games but a 4.62 ERA in night games, so if he continues that trend he should have success against Baltimore.
Here are the pitching matchups for this series:
RHP Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.07)
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (8-7, 3.36)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (11-6, 3.73)
RHP Kevin Gausman (2-6, 4.59)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
LHP CC Sabathia (4-9, 5.27)
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (10-9, 4.24)
7:05 p.m., YES Network