Eovaldi’s most complete start of the season helped the Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-2

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Nathan Eovaldi – ESPN 

The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 8-2, at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon for their second consecutive win against their rivals to the north. The Yankees (11-17), who have now won three of their last four games, will have their first three-game winning streak since the first week of September if they can beat the Red Sox tonight on Sunday Night Baseball.

The Yankees are still six games below .500, but it is a positive sign that they have had four consecutive quality starts and the offense is scoring more runs than earlier in the season. The offense has scored seven or more runs twice in their last four games after previously only doing so once in 20 games.

Nathan Eovaldi dominated against the Red Sox offense on Saturday afternoon, which helped save the bullpen and defeat David Price. He threw eight innings, which is a season-high, and gave a season-low zero walks. He also allowed six hits, only two earned runs and struck out six batters. He lowered his ERA from 5.36 to 4.78 and rebounded well from his previous start when he allowed 10 hits, six runs and three walks in five innings pitched.

Before his meltdown in his last start against the Red Sox on May 1, he had progressively improved in every start this season. In order he had allowed five, four, three and then zero earned runs. He showed what he is capable of during Saturday’s start and he just needs to consistently not walk batters, limit his homers and combine his overpowering fastball (99mph) with his improved splitter, slider and curve.

Joe Girardi will need Eovaldi to be consistent because CC Sabathia, who threw seven shutout innings on May 4, was put on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain on May 6. Eovaldi has the ability to be a No. 2 caliber starter but he along with Michael Pineda just need to learn to not get sidetracked to adversity during the game.

On offense, the bottom third of the Yankees order won the game for the team as the trio of Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius and Austin Romine scored three runs and drove in five. Headley, who has not hit a home run yet this season and has been one of the worst players on offense in the league, had his first multi-hit game since April 19 and crossed home plate for the first time since April 12.

Headley went 2-4, which improved his average from .151 to .169, and scored his third and fourth runs of the season. The Yankees hope that this is a sign of his improving at the plate and of him hitting more like he did at the end of August last season when he had one or more hits in 12 of 14 games.

Austin Romine, who has an impressive .348 average this year as the back-up catcher, smashed a double to right center in the third that scored Headley, for one of this three hits. He also hit a double in the eighth to drive in Headley for the team’s eighth run of the contest. Romine has to this point greatly improved his hitting at the plate compared to previous seasons.

Didi Gregorius’s double in the fourth that scored Starlin Castro, Mark Teixeira and Dustin Ackley made the score 4-1 and gave the Yankees all the runs that they would need to defeat Boston. A positive sign from Gregorius was that his double was his first extra base hit since he slugged a homer on April 20 against the Oakland Athletics.

Carlos Beltran had a two RBI double in the fifth and Aaron Hicks had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to give the Yankees their three other runs.

Hicks is also gradually starting to improve offensively since he has one hit in each of the last three games after previously starting his season with two hits in his first 30 at-bats. His increased playing time in the outfield due to Alex Rodriguez being on the disabled list could lead to more production.

The Yankees will look to sweep the Red Sox tonight on Mother’s Day and get some revenge for when the Red Sox swept them last week at Fenway Park. If the Yankees win and the Orioles lose today, the Yankees could only be 4.5 games out of first place, which isn’t that bad considering the start that they have had.

 

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