The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-2, on Sunday afternoon at Target Field in what Nathan Eovaldi said was his best start this season. He pitched eight innings (including a leadoff double to Miguel Sano in the ninth) and allowed only two runs while striking out five on 100 pitches. It was the first time that he had pitched more than 7.1 innings this season.
Eovaldi has now allowed two runs or less in six of his last seven starts, which has lowered his ERA from 5.12 to a much more respectable 4.27. During this start, he was able to strike out four of the first six batters that he faced and didn’t allow an extra base hit until Sano’s double in the ninth.
“I thought his split was outstanding and I thought he used his curve ball effectively,” Joe Girardi said. “He is very strong and doesn’t lose velocity as the game goes along. He is getting strikeouts on his split, which is always important for a pitcher when you can get strikeouts when you need them. I think he has improved all year.”
The first run that the Twins scored off of Eovaldi was a an RBI groundout by Torii Hunter that scored Aaron Hicks in the third inning. Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single that scored Sano in the ninth was also charged to Eovaldi. He has really improved his splitter in his last seven starts, which has helped him record a 5-0 record, 2.83 ERA and a .245 batting average against in that span.
“I had the fastball working both sides of the plate and I got swings and misses with my split,” Eovaldi said. “I was getting early chases in the count and got big double play balls when I needed to.”
Carlos Beltran, who doubled to right center, was on third with one out in the second, but the fact that he was stranded at third by Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius did not end up hurting the Yankees. Headley, who was 2-4 and is hitting .344 with 11 RBIs in July, hit a homer to the concourse in right off of Twins starter Kyle Gibson in the fifth inning to tie the score at one. The Yankees scored six runs in the sixth inning to help give them the win.
Garrett Jones hit an RBI single to give the Yankees a 2-1 advantage, Headley singled to right to score Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann, Didi Gregorius hit a safety squeeze bunt for an RBI that drove in Garrett Jones and then Stephen Drew hit a two-run homer to give the Yankees their seventh run. Drew (.188 average) now has 13 homers, which is second most among all second basemen in the American League.
Eovaldi now has so much confidence in his split-fingered fastball that he shook off the slider in the first and threw the splitter to strike out Hunter.
“Eovaldi has been great for us,” Headley said. “It is fun to watch him when he gets the ball.”
Dellin Betances, who got all three outs in the ninth inning, got Kurt Suzuki to hit into a double play to end the game as Eddie Rosario was doubled off of first after a catch and throw by Headley.
“Great win for us,” Headley said. “I think you stay the course. Keep working hard and know the results will come.” That was what Headley said in reference to his recent offensive improvement.
This was the team’s sixth consecutive series win. The Yankees have a 7-2 record with 4.6 runs runs per game and a solid 3.71 ERA since the All-Star break. Their 14-5 record in July is also the best in all of baseball.
The Yankees (55-42) now have a 6.5 game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays (50-50) and a 7 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. They will play the first of four games against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park tonight at 8:05 p.m. EST.
Brendan Ryan hit an RBI double in the sixth inning that ended up giving the Yankees a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the series opener. That was Ryan’s fifth hit of the season (5-17) and it was a clutch hit after standing four in his first two at-bats. Ryan hit a double to right down the third base line to drive in Didi Gregorius.
“I just tried to get my foot down and get my barrel to the ball,” Ryan said. “I had a few opportunities today and couldn’t come through, but I was glad I was able to come through to put us up by one.”
The Toronto Blue Jays won last night, so the Yankees now have a 4.5 game lead over Toronto for first place and the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays are five games back. Nathan Eovaldi got the start for the Yankees and he allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in 5.2 innings pitched. He had four strikeouts and has now allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six starts.
“The split was good early on in the game,” Eovaldi said. “Even as the season has progressed it (the split) has been really good for me. I switched my grip on the split a little earlier on the season so it was like a true split. I want to go deep into ballgames, but our bullpen has been great the whole year. The split has been my pitch, I have been able to throw it in any count.”
A key out for Eovaldi came in the fifth inning when he got Chris Parmelee to ground out to second with runners on first and third with two outs. After not allowing any hits in the first three innings, Eovaldi wasn’t as effective in the fifth and sixth. In the sixth inning, Matt Weiters singled to right off of Eovaldi to score Jimmy Paredes and advance Adam Jones to second. Justin Wilson would then allow an RBI single to JJ Hardy that scored Jones, which was Eovaldi second earned run.
However, Eovaldi did mix his pitches well in addition to throwing 100mph fastballs. Eovaldi helped his own cause in the first inning by picking off Manny Machado at first with an outstanding throw. He has really improved his secondary pitches since allowing eight earned runs to the Marlins on June 16.
The Yankees scored their first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez to left that sent Brett Gardner home. That was A-Rod’s 53rd RBI of the season, and he is on target to have his highest RBI total since the 2010 season. In the second inning, Chase Headley hit a double to the wall in left off of Wei-Yin Chen to score Brian McCann to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Mark Teixeira, Chris Young and Headley all had two hits for the Yankees. Young had two hits off of the lefty starter, and now has a .371 average in 89 at-bats with six homers against southpaws. Headley is now on a six-game hitting streak with three doubles and three RBIs in that span. Teixeira now has three consecutive multi-hit games, which has improved his average from .239 to .252.
The Yankees were only 1-10 with runners in scoring position but they got timely hits and excellent pitching from the bullpen once again.
The Yankees are so much better with a healthy Teixeira this year. “You really appreciate it because you see it on a daily basis,” Joe Girardi said. “It was tough missing him last year but it is great having him back.”
Mark Teixeira made a great scoop on an in between hop on a throw by Gregorius to get the second out of the ninth inning. Jonathan Schoop then struck out swinging on an 84mph slider from Andrew Miller to end the game. Miller now has 21 saves in 21 save opportunities in his first season as a closer.
Including Tuesday’s 3.1 scoreless innings, the bullpen has now not allowed a run in their last 11.1 innings. Dellin Betances recorded the last out of the seventh and pitched the eighth and was able to record two strikeouts. He now has 81 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched, which proves how his pitches have been nearly un-hittable.
“He is able to give you multiple outs and he is very durable,” Girardi said. “He just means a ton to our team. I think he understands that when we get to the seventh that we might use him for multiple outs.
The Yankees have won 19 of their last 26 home games.
After their win on Tuesday, Ivan Nova will get the start for the Yankees in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday. He allowed four runs in 6.2 innings in his previous start.
The Yankees, who have a four-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East, start a three-game series against the Orioles tonight at Yankee Stadium. This is an important series because with a sweep they could have a seven-game lead over Baltimore, who is likely the most talented overall team besides the Yankees in the division.
Coming into this series, the Yankees have won six of their last eight games and they are coming off of winning two of three games against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees pitched well overall in that series as the Mariners scored seven runs combined and didn’t score more than three runs in any game.
The bullpen has been a strength for the Yankees this season and that was the case against the Mariners as well. The bullpen combined to throw eight scoreless innings and strikeout nine batters during the three-game series. That is one area of the team that definitely does not need to be improved before the trade deadline.
Offense is a strength for both the Yankees and Orioles. Baltimore is fourth out of 15 teams in the American League with 113 homers, they are fourth in the AL with a .257 average and fourth with a .423 slugging percentage. The Yankees, on the other hand, are second in the league with 418 runs scored, tied for second in the AL with 120 homers and are also second in the league with 398 RBIs.
The Orioles have a better rotation than the Yankees, but New York has a better record because of their better overall lineup and bullpen. Chris Young, who was signed to a one-year contract in November, will start tonight and has been a key addition because he plays a solid right field and has an outstanding .360 average in 86 at-bats against lefties with six homers, 14 RBIs and a 1.101 OPS.
Overall, Young has a .251 average in 215 at-bats with 11 homers, 27 RBIs, 33 runs scored and a .773 OPS. “I would think against every lefty we face he will be in there,” Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees will be facing a lefty tonight in Wei-Yin Chen. He has the best ERA (2.78) of any Orioles starter and during his three July starts he has an impressive 2.35 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP. Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for the Yankees and his 4.50 ERA is second lowest out of the five starters in the rotation, but Eovaldi has a 2.87 ERA in three July starts and has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last five starts.
According to STATS, Chen has a 1.95 ERA during his five consecutive quality starts, while Eovaldi is 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his last five starts. Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann have been run producers in the middle of the lineup so far this season and the Yankees will need that to continue during this series. The Yankees will look to win their fifth straight series before they go on a 10-game road trip.
Here are the pitching matchups for this series against the Orioles:
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-2, 4.50)
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-5, 2.78)
7:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network
RHP Ivan Nova (1-3, 3.42)
RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.00)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and ESPN
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (6-3, 3.65)
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 3.29)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
The Yankees, who have a 3.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East at the end of the All-Star break, have a realistic chance of make the playoffs for the first time since the 2012 season. They have a dominant bullpen, are second in the league in runs scored (409), have the second most RBIs in the league (389) have the third best team OPS in the AL (.748) and have hit a league leading 116 homers.
The worst two pitchers in the rotation have been Nathan Eovaldi (4.50 ERA in 98 innings) and CC Sabathia (5.47 ERA in 100.1 innings). However, Sabathia allowed two earned runs in his last start before the break and Eovaldi has impressively allowed two runs or less in four of his last five starts.
It is not likely that Sabathia will be taken out of the rotation based on how much he has accomplished in his career and how much he is being paid, which means that he needs to consistently lower his ERA the rest of the season. Eovaldi has been throwing his off-speed pitches in better counts and with better command, which his helped him not have to rely on his overpowering fastball as much.
The team’s biggest weakness has been the rotation, which can improve with more consistency from Micael Pineda (3.64 ERA in 106.1 innings) and Masahiro Tanaka (3.63 ERA in 67 innings), who are the top two starters in the rotation.
Mark Teixeira, who was an All-Star this season after reaching the All-Star break fourth in the league in homers (22) and first in RBIs (62), and Alex Rodriguez, who is tied for 12th in homers (18) and tied for 16th in RBIs (51) have both had great bounce back seasons, have been key run producers in the middle of the lineup and the Yankees would not have a 48-40 record without their improved play this season. The Yankees will need both Teixeira and Rodriguez to stay healthy and productive the rest of the season in order to win the division.
The Yankees have a 25-16 record at home so far this season and a not as good 23-24 record on the road. They will have a favorable schedule after the All-Star break since they will not have any more games in the Pacific Time Zone and will play 40 games at Yankee Stadium and only 34 games on the road.
The Mariners, who have Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano on their roster, are in fourth place in the AL West with a 41-48 record. The Mariners went 4-4 in their last eight games before the All-Star break.
Here are the pitching matchups for this weekend series against the Seattle Mariners.
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (5-3, 3.63)
LHP Mike Montgomery (4-3, 2.29)
7:05 p.m., YES Network
RHP Michael Pineda (9-5, 3.64)
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 5.52)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
LHP CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.47)
RHP Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.84)
1:05 p.m., WPIX
The Yankees lost to the Oakland Athletics, 4-3, in 10 innings on Tuesday in the first game of their three-game series in the Bronx. The Yankees had the lead against A’s ace Sonny Gray twice but gave it back and then the bullpen, which has usually dominated this season, allowed the game-tying and game-winning run.
Brett Lawrie hit a homer to deep left in the 10th off of All-Star Dellin Betances (1.65 ERA, 71 strikeouts) to give the Athletics a 4-3 lead. That was the second homer that Betances allowed this season and the last one came in his previous appearance on July 4th against the Rays. Betances, who had three strikeouts in his 1.2 innings pitched in relief of Justin Wilson, threw Lawrie a hanging breaking ball on an 0-2 pitch.
“It just doesn’t happen very often,” Joe Girardi said. “It happened tonight. It’s a game where there is the human element involved. He (Betances) left a breaking ball in the middle and he (Lawrie) hit it out.”
In the sixth inning, after Nathan Eovaldi was taken out of the game, Chasen Shreve allowed a homer to Billy Butler, who was the second batter he faced. Butler, who went 1-4, made the score 3-3 on his homer to the first row in left and hit the first of two homers off of Yankees relievers. Shreve, who had a 15-game scoreless streak, has now allowed a run in back-to-back games.
Eovaldi, who allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings, held the opposition to less than three runs for his fourth consecutive start. Two of his highlights were striking out Marcus Semien on an 88mph splitter in the fifth and getting 11 swing and misses during his 5.1 innings.
“I’ve got to do a better job of getting quick outs and working deep into the ball game,’ Eovaldi said.
He was taken out of the game after throwing only 86 pitches partly because opposing teams have a .378 batting average against him the third time through the order. Joe Girardi also thought Shreve would have better success against the next batter.
“Reddick had hit him pretty hard and I had a fresh bullpen,” Joe Girardi said. “The way my bullpen has been throwing I just thought I would go to Shreve. With a fresh bullpen I would do it especially lefty on lefty in that situation.”
To give the Yankees a 3-2 lead, Didi Gregorius hit a single to right center that scored Brian McCann with two outs in the fourth. Gregorius is hitting 6-18 (.333) with two RBIs in July after having a .258 average in June. McCann and Garrett Jones both hit RBI singles in the first inning off of Gray but Oakland tied the score against Eovaldi in the third.
The Yankees were 3-11 with runners in scoring position and Chris Young, Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley all hit into a double play.
Alex Rodriguez walked in the 10th to put runners on first and second with two outs. Mark Teixeira, who was 0-5 with three strikeouts, struck out swinging on a 3-2 change by former Yankee Tyler Clippard to end the game. Clippard picked up his 16th save of the season.
Girardi was impressed with the bullpen overall and thought that more run support would have helped. “For the most part, they were pretty good,” Girardi said. “It is unfortunate we didn’t score some runs for them after it was 3-3.”
The Yankees, who are 44-39 and have a game and a half lead for first place in the AL East, could not take advantage of the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays both losing on Tuesday. The Orioles and Blue Jays are both 1.5 games out of first and the floundering Rays, who are 1-9 in their last 10 games, are 2.5 games out of first.
The Athletics (39-47), who have the worst record in the American League, will play the Yankees again tonight and Thursday afternoon. Before the All-Star break, the Yankees will play a three-game set from Friday to Sunday at Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller will come off of the disabled list before Wednesday’s game.
The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-1, to prevent being swept in the final game of the series. The Yankees scored as many runs in this game as they had in their previous three games combined.
After the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, as a result of Chase Headley’s single to right that scored Didi Gregorius in the third, Garrett Jones hit what ended up being the game-winning homer. His homer to right field over the scoreboard with two outs was his fifth of the season and first hit in his previous eight at-bats.
The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI single to center by Gregorius that scored Brian McCann. Gregorius was 2-4 and has three multi-hit games in his last five contests.
“I just have to keep hitting the ball hard and contribute when I can,” Jones said. “I feel like I saw it in the middle and got a nice smooth hard swing on it. Nate pitched a great game and our bullpen shut them down. You have to tip your cap to them.”
Nathan Eovaldi had what was his best start of the season as he held the Angels scoreless in 5.1 innings. He allowed five hits and held the opposition scoreless for the first time this season. He was taken out of the game after walking Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to load the bases in the sixth inning with one out.
He has rebounded from allowing nine runs in less than an inning against the Miami Marlins in Miami to allow two runs or less in his last three starts. These three starts lowered his ERA from 5.12 to a more respectable 4.52. His improved off-speed pitches have helped him not have to rely on his fastball as much.
“My split has been a lot better for me,” Eovaldi said. “I got a lot of outs with it. Not having to rely on the fastball all the time helps out.” He said that he now trusts and believes in his off-speed pitches more and can throw them in any count.
Eovaldi was able to use his improved command to get Mike Trout and Albert Pujols out after Giavotella was on second with one out in the first inning. Eovaldi had 11 ground ball outs. The Angels went 0-22 with runners in scoring position against the Yankees during the three game series.
Chasen Shreve got Erick Aybar to pop up and David Freese to ground out to third after coming into the game the bases loaded in the sixth. In the seventh, he retired the side in order after striking out Efren Navarro to end the frame.
“He has been doing it all year so we have a ton of confidence in him,” Joe Girardi said. “He throws strikes, he doesn’t walk people and he uses his split really well. He doesn’t beat himself and throws strikes.” Shreve has 15 straight scoreless appearances.
“I just try to focus on the glove and make my pitches,” Shreve said. “I just try to stay focused and stay with my routine.”
Chase Headley played well on offense and defense against the Angels. He had seven assists during the game and went 3-5 with his 29th RBI of the season. This game could get him back on track as he only had one hit in his previous 15 at-bats.
The only run that the Angels scored was a homer by Trout off of Justin Wilson that went just over the fence in right center. Trout’s 21st homer came after Wilson retired Giavotella and Calhoun, which meant that the homer didn’t cause much damage.
Dellin Betances retired the final batter of the eighth inning and pitched out of trouble in the ninth inning for his seventh save of the season and seventh scoreless game in his previous eight.
He walked two batters in the ninth but was able to strikeout Daniel Robertson on curve ball and then strikeout C.J. Cron to end the game. The Yankees are now 36-2 when leading after seven innings.
“We went on a tough road trip, but 3-4 is a lot better than 2-5,” Girardi said.
The Yankees (42-37) went into their off day on a positive note as they are now half a game out of first in the AL East. The Rays and Blue Jays are both one game behind the Baltimore Orioles.
With the Yankees losing 2-0 in the seventh inning, Young hit a three-run homer off of Will Harris over the 19-foot wall in left field at Minute Maid Park to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Young’s game-winning homer, which was his ninth of the season, drove in Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones.
“That is huge,” Joe Girardi said. “We had not done much up until that point. He (Young) has been really hot and that is why he is playing everyday.”
He is from Houston and always enjoys playing at Minute Park based on how well he plays and that his friends and family can watch him person.
Young said after the game that he left 50 tickets for friends and family to attend the game. He began his career back in 2006 and has been playing games as a visitor in Houston ever since. In 105 at-bats at Minute Maid Park he has hit nine homers with a remarkable .409 average.
“I’m sure it’s something to it,” he said of playing in his home park. “I mean it definitely doesn’t hurt to have some extra support behind your back, a little extra little fire when you to the plate.”
Young, who struggled in May after his hot start to the season, is on a nine-game hitting streak with four consecutive multi-hit games to raise his average to .271. He has been playing very well the previous seven games with Jacoby Ellsbury still on the disabled list and if he continues hitting like this he will deserve to split time with Beltran when Ellsbury returns.
“To be able to do it in front of your family, your home town, and the city you grew up coming to baseball games in and now you’re one of the players on the field, it’s a little special for me,” Young said.
The Yankees were only 1-5 with runners in scoring position, but Young came through when it counted as he hit his third homer in June.
Eovaldi (7-2, 4.81 ERA) is from nearby Alvin, Texas, which is well known as the hometown of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Eovaldi looked up to Ryan growing up and said that he didn’t know that the all-time leader in strikeouts was sitting behind home plate until the fifth inning.
“Growing up, for me, I connected baseball with him,” Eovaldi said of Ryan.
He allowed two earned runs in six innings and this was his second consecutive start limiting the opposition to two runs scored. This means that he has bounced back very well from allowing nine runs in two thirds of an inning to the Miami Marlins on June 16.
Eovaldi, who had six strikeouts, used his splitter very effectively against the Astros according to Girardi. “I think his curveball was important for him tonight and the command of his fastball,” Giradi said. “He was able to elevate it at times and go down and away at times. I thought they mixed the pitches very well and kept them off balance.”
He has improved his stuff and has kept hitters off balance a lot more in his last two starts since he has allowed five and three hits respectively in his last two starts after allowing a combined 17 hits in his previous two starts.
“Tonight I was just trying to take it pitch by pitch,” Eovaldi said.
According to the Yankees PR Department and Fangraphs, Eovaldi’s fastball has the highest average velocity (95.9) in the Majors this season. He can be an effective starter when he locates his secondary pitches and throws his fastball at the right time, but he just needs to avoid starts when he completely loses his command.
After Eovaldi was taken out of the game after throwing 100 pitches, Chasen Shreve, Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances combined to throw three innings and not allow a hit. Shreve, who has not allowed a run in his last 13 games to lower his ERA to an impressive 1.76, had three strikeouts in his inning pitched, and Betances struck out two of the four batters he faced.
After winning the game on Friday in Houston with big contributions from hometown players, the Yankees will play the Astros at 4:10 EST and will try for their first winning streak since they won straight from June 17-20. Masahiro Tanaka will make his first start against the Astros and will hit for the second game this season.
In the first game of their four-game series in Houston against the Astros, the Yankees were shutout 4-0 after a gem by Dallas Keuchel. The Astros ace pitched his third complete game of the season and recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts.
Keuchel lowered his ERA to 2.17, which is third best in the American League, and he lowered his WHIP to 0.96, which is the second best WHIP in the AL. His command of all four of his pitches, in addition to changing speeds, kept the Yankees off balance during the whole game. He only allowed six hits and one walk & retired the side in order in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings.
The ninth inning was the only inning that the Yankees were able to get a runner into scoring position against Keuchel. After Keuchel retired Chris Young and Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez singled, Mark Teixeira walked & then Carlos Beltran hit a single past third baseman Luis Valbuena’s glove to load the bases. However, with the bases loaded and a chance to drive in two or more runs, Jose Pirela grounded out to third to end the game.
“He (Keuchel) stays done in the zone, attacks all night, he just pitched well,” Joe Girardi said. “The guys were looking for a pitch and if they got a pitch early they were trying to hit it, and that didn’t work too well. I thought he might make a change but he is their ace so they let him go.”
Adam Warren pitched well overall in what was likely his last start before being moved to the bullpen. Warren allowed two earned runs (three overall) in 5.2 innings before Chris Capuano came on in relief. However, it did not help that Stephen Drew and John Ryan Murphy both had an error while Warren was pitching. Warren had a throwing error that allowed Evan Gattis to advance to third before being taken out of the game, but Capuano got Preston Tucker out to end the sixth.
“He (Warren) pitched really well again tonight,” Girardi said. “He has been consistent and it’s too bad we didn’t score him some runs tonight.”
For the Astros, Jose Altuve was 3-3 with three runs scored, Gattis was 2-4 with two RBIs, Colby Rasmus was 1-2 with an RBI and Tucker’s opposite field double to the wall off of Warren in the second drove in the Astros first run. The only run that the Astros scored off of Capuano was Gattis’s double that sent Altuve home in the eighth.
The Yankees hit zero extra-base hits for the fifth time this season. Brett Gardner (.292 with 55 runs scored), who was out of the lineup on Thursday after having gone 16-32 in his previous seven games, is back in center field tonight. Gardner has scored six runs over his last three games and will look to be the same spark at the top of the lineup that he has been the past few weeks.
Brian McCann is also back in the lineup after getting a routing game off like Gardner on Thursday. McCann has a .328 average with three homers and 12 RBIs in June and has had a much better start to the season than he did in his first season as a Yankee. McCann is also coming into the game with a five-game hitting streak with five RBIs in that span, so he will be one of the hitters that the Yankees will count on to drive in runs.
Nathan Eovaldi (4.95 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees tonight and Vincent Valasquez will take the mound for Houston. Valasquez (4.15 ERA), whose three starts in June were the first three of his career, didn’t pitch more than five innings in any of those starts. He allowed five earned runs in his second start but threw a shutout in five innings against the White Sox in his third start.
Eovaldi pitched very well in his previous start against the Detroit Tigers as he limited them to two earned runs on three hits in 6 innings. He had success because he commanded and located his secondary pitches.
Beltran will be the DH tonight since Rodriguez will be getting the night off. Rodriguez, who could come into the game as a pinch hitter, is on a nine-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that span.
His average was .267 before the hitting streak started and it is now a solid .289. A-Rod has performed better than anyone could have expected to this point and the Yankees would not be 1.5 games out of first in the AL East without him. He is tied for 13th in the AL with his 44 RBIs, is tied for eighth in the AL with his 15 homers and is tied for 12 in the league with 42 runs scored.
Tonight’s game will begin at 8:10 EST and can be seen on the YES Network.
Willie Randolph and Mel Stottlemyre, who both received plaques in Monument Park on Saturday, both wore No. 30 as a Yankee, which makes it fitting that Nathan Eovaldi (No. 30) got the start against the Tigers since he is No. 30 as well. He made them proud as he only allowed one earned run in six innings in the Yankees 14-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, which was a complete turnaround from his previous start.
Randolph was overjoyed that he got a plaque in Monument Park after growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn. “It is all about my legacy,” Randolph said. “They embraced me. I grew up in this town. Thurman Munson taught me how to be a winner. I grew up learning the Yankee way. We felt like we were part of the legacy and wanted to teach the young kids how to lead.”
Randolph was a 5-time All-Star as a Yankee (six overall), won two World Series as a player with the Bronx Bombers, four as a coach and had a .276 career average (.373 on-base percentage) with 1,239 runs scored, 2,210 hits & 271 steals. He played 13 of his 18 major-league seasons with the Yankees.
He was surprisingly fired as manager of the Mets in 2008 and pointed out in his speech that when he walks the streets, “Cabbies yell at me, “Willie, you got a raw deal with the Mets! They gave you a raw deal!”
Randolph said that he almost quit when he was in Double-A and told his mom that he wanted to come home to Brooklyn. His mom told him that she would pick him up at the train station but that she didn’t raise a quitter. This made Randolph reconsider quitting and led to him getting to the major leagues.
At the end of spring training in 1996, some in the Yankees front office were not convinced Derek Jeter could be the everyday shortstop, so they were close to trading Mariano Rivera to the Seattle Mariners for a shortstop prospect named Felix Fermin, but Randolph convinced Steinbrenner not to make this trade with the Mariners because he thought Jeter deserved a chance. Randolph obviously made the right call because the Yankees would not have had their dynasty without Rivera and Jeter.
The Yankees lived up to their Bronx Bombers nickname as they scored one or more runs in all but two innings. They slugged five home runs and tied a season-high with 14 runs. They have averaged eight runs a game during their current four-game winning streak after previously losing five of six games when they scored four runs or less in every loss.
Alex Rodriguez was 2-3 with a homer and five of the 14 RBIs and Carlos Beltran had his first multi-homer game since 6/15/2013 when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals.
In reference to A-Rod’s five RBIs, Brett Gardner said, “Our job at the top of the order is to get on base for A-Rod and he makes it seem easy.”
To leadoff the scoring, Rodriguez, grounded into a fielder’s choice in the first to score Gardner. Didi Gregorius hit a homer to the first row in right field to lead off the second inning. That was his fourth homer of the season.
Brian McCann grounded out to first with the bases loaded to end the second after Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly scored Stephen Drew. Defensively, to lead off the sixth inning, Gregorius made an outstanding barehanded play to just barely get Jose Iglesias out at first.
Beltran hit a two-run homer into the bleachers above the DKNY sign in right center field to start the third inning. That was his sixth homer of the season and his fourth hit in his last 11 at-bats (.364). Chase Headley had an RBI single through the infield to right to drive in Chris Young in the third. Alex Rodriguez hit a deep three-run homer with two outs in the third for his 3,001st hit. That was the team’s ninth hit in the first three innings.
Beltran smashed his second homer of the game in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 9-0 lead. The first time he hit one batting left handed and he hit this one above the US Trust sign in right while batting from the right side of the plate.
“We just need to approach it the same way we have been doing, putting good at-bats together,” Beltran said. “We are going to have streaks when we play good baseball and when we don’t, but over last four days we have been hitting and pitching well.” Beltran has hit .296 with seven homers in May in June after having a .162 average at the end of April. This proves that he has a lot left in the tank.
By the time the third inning ended, Brett Gardner, who is fourth in the AL in runs scored (49) and second in steals (15), was a homer away from cycle as he already had a single, double and a triple. He also made a great leaping catch against the wall in left center to get Yoenis Cespedes out to leadoff the fifth.
“Gardner has been really good,” Joe Girardi said. “A lot of times we score a lot of runs and he creates a lot of havoc on the bases. I wanted to pull him out of the game but because he had the opportunity (to hit for the cycle) we left him in there.”
The Yankees scored seven earned runs in 2.2 innings against Alfredo Simon as his slow pace did not work to his advantage.
Detroit, who was losing 13-3 in the eighth inning, had shortstop Josh Wilson pitch, and Young blasted a homer to right for his second RBI of the game and eighth homer of the season.
Nathan Eovaldi rebounded very well as in his previous start he became the only pitcher in Yankee history to allow nine hits and not pitch an inning. Eovaldi’s fastball, curveball and splitter were all much better than in his previous start in Miami. Eovaldi had four strikeouts, allowed a season-low three hits and retired the side in order in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Brian Mitchell, who was called up from Triple-A on Friday, recorded the final nine outs and struck out Andrew Romine to end the game.
The Yankees will have the pitching advantage on Sunday afternoon as Mashiro Tanaka has a 2.49 ERA in his seven starts and Anibal Sanchez has a 4.65 ERA in his 14 starts.
The Yankees lost the the Marlins on Tuesday, 12-2, and Nathan Eovaldi had by far the worst start of his season on Tuesday night against the Miami Marlins. He might have put too much pressure on himself ahead of pitching against his former team as he was not even able to pitch one inning. He allowed the Marlins to score eight runs on nine hits in 0.2 innings, which raised his ERA from 4.13 to 5.12.
The first inning might have been different if the Marlins No. 3 hitter, Christian Yelich, didn’t get to first as a result of Didi Gregorius bobbling the grounder that he hit, but Eovaldi didn’t locate his pitches after Yelich’s single, which should have been an error on Gregorius. Eovaldi threw far too many of his secondary pitches in the middle of the plate, which led to nine of the 11 batters that he faced getting a hit.
The eight runs that the Marlins scored in the first inning were a franchise-high.
“I was just keeping a whole lot of balls up in the zone,” Eovaldi said. “I was looking forward to this start, and I felt good getting ready today. It’s very frustrating.”
Brian McCann single to right in the sixth that scored Gregorius was his 40th RBI of the season. McCann has the second most RBIs in the American League among catchers. In the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Mason Williams doubled to left to score Stephen Drew. That was his second hit in his 12 at-bats since being called up from Triple-A.
The Yankees will look to bounce back tonight at Yankee Stadium against the Marlins after losing to them on Monday and Tuesday in Miami. The Marlins are now 29-37 and seven games behind the Mets in the NL East. The Yankees are 34-30 and a game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first in the AL East.
Michael Pineda, who allowed five earned runs in 4.1 innings in his previous outing, will get the start for the Yankees. He has struggled this season and last season when pitching on extra rest, and is on normal rest tonight, so that could mean that he will be able to command his changeup and slider like he has for most of the season.
Pineda, who is 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA, has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his 12 starts this season. He will have the benefit of pitching against the weaker Marlins lineup tonight.
Before tonight’s game, the Yankees called up Jose DePaula from Triple-A Scranton to give them a fresh long man since Chris Capuano threw four innings last night.
Mark Teixeira, who has three multi-hit games in his last six games, will get the night off after playing in the previous 10 games (this included two off days). Garrett Jones will get the start at first base against his former team. Here is the lineup for tonight’s game against Miami:
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Brian McCann C
Alex Rodriguez DH
Garrett Jones 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B
Mason Williams CF