Brett Gardner smacked a grand slam to right field that accounted for two-thirds of his six RBIs, as the Yankees blew out the Houston Astros 13 to 4 in the series opener.

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After falling behind after the first inning, Michael Pineda righted the ship to get himself in line for a win. He kept the ball in the yard, allowing three runs on a José Altuve sacrifice fly, Carlos Beltrán ground out and Marwin González single. Altuve drove in another run off long-reliever Bryan Mitchell.

The Yankee offense shook off meager showings from the Chicago series, pounding 14 hits off Astros pitching. The Astros resorted to using outfielder Norichika Aoki to pitch the ninth inning. Each Yankee starter besides Aaron Judge and Tyler Wade collected a hit, and Jacoby Ellsbury was the only Yankee to collect just one. Ronald Torreyes reached base in all five of his plate appearances.

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This game also provided much-needed relief for the Bombers’ beleaguered bullpen. Pineda’s six innings combined with the offensive explosion allowed Girardi to only use Mitchell to complete the game. Mitchell had been scheduled to start today for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and will most likely be sent back down to stay on rotation.

A big time reinforcement is also joining the team tomorrow in Houston, as Clint Frazier is reportedly being promoted. Frazier, the No. 2 prospect in the Yankee system, likely will see playing time in the corner outfield spots and as the designated hitter. The club snidely confirmed his promotion with a cryptic tweet about “something red”.

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