Game 62: Two-Game Sweep in Sight

Sonny Gray gets the ball as he looks to pitch the Yankees to a win in a third straight start, while the team also looks to sweep the visiting Washington Nationals quickly out of town.

Gray’s 2018 has been, well, weird. In an equal sample size (6 starts), he has been an ace on the road (2.83 ERA, .578 OPS) and just lost at Yankee Stadium (7.22 ERA, .914 OPS). He got knocked around in his last start in the Bronx, allowing the Los Angeles Angels to hang five runs on seven hits in 3⅔ innings on May 26. Since then, however, Gray has allowed just one run in 14 innings while striking out 14 batters. The 28-year-old received an unfair no-decision in his last start June 6 against the Toronto Blue Jays, where he tossed eight innings of shutout ball. The Yankees won that game, but not until a three-run 13th inning when Gray was long gone. He hopes to continue that trend so that people will stop talking about this outrageous statistical split.

The Nationals had to make a roster move to recall tonight’s starter, Erick Fedde, from their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse. Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the team’s No. 4 prospect, Fedde has “potential as a mid-rotation starter”. His Triple-A statistics don’t show that however, where he has a 4.76 ERA in 11 starts for the Chiefs. He made one spot-start for the Nationals on May 23, picking up a loss against the San Diego Padres allowing three runs in 5⅔ innings.

Gary Sánchez continues to sit out as part of a campaign by Aaron Boone to rest the struggling backstop. “I just felt like it’s a chance to give him essentially three days to freshen him up a little bit, get some good days of recovery and work and then have back at it,” Boone said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Austin Romine is slashing .410/.467/.821 in 39 at-bats since April 30 so Boone has no issue giving Sánchez all the time he needs. Miguel Andújar returns to the lineup after a night off to allow Neil Walker into the lineup against Tanner Roark. Greg Bird remains in the lineup, but loses his No. 3 slot in the lineup to Didi Gregorius. Bird, who has struggled (1-for-18 since June 6), drops down to the No. 7 spot.

Washington Nationals Lineup

  1. Adam Eaton – RF
  2. Trea Turner – SS
  3. Bryce Harper – CF
  4. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  5. Daniel Murphy – DH
  6. Matt Adams – 1B
  7. Juan Soto – LF
  8. Wilmer Difo – 2B
  9. Spencer Kieboom – C
    Erick Fedde – RHP

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