Tag: Brett Gardner

Yankees 7, Twins 2: Kraken Awakes in Series-Opening Win

The Yankee backstop collects three of the Yanks’ 11 hits in a big win.

MINNEAPOLIS, MI – Gary Sánchez‘s bat got going in a big way Monday night in Minnesota, as he collected three hits and scored two runs in a big 7-to-2 Yankee win.

The Oakland Athletics sat idle, so the Yankee lead in the Wild Card grew to three games. The game was a pitching duel through the sixth inning, with J.A. Happ and Kyle Gibson matching zeroes until El Gary stepped to the dish with two outs. Sánchez was robbed in his previous at-bat, thanks to a fantastic play by Twins third baseman Gregorio Petit.

Sánchez fouled off a few tough pitches down in the zone, and then crushed a 2-2 sinker that was out of the zone 460 feet into the third deck at Target Field. It was his second homer since returning from rehab September 1, and his 16th overall on the 2018 season.

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In a nightmare season, Sánchez’s bat showed a sign of life that could be crucial down the stretch. His three hits were the most he’d had in one game since he had four against the Royals on May 19. The Yankee lineup becomes so much stronger if he can maintain something like the .263/.333/.632 (156 wRC+) line of his past five games.

The Yankee offense got a big boost in the top of the seventh, where they scored six runs. That allowed Aaron Boone and Co. to lift Happ after just 91 pitches and six shutout innings. Luis Cessa allowed the two runs in two mop-up innings, and Jonathan Holder pitched a perfect ninth to nail down the win.

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Brett Gardner contributed a multi-hit game from the No. 9 slot, and he’s been a bit hotter of late – .280/.333/.320 (81 wRC+) since September 3. The Yankees worked 10 walks, with three going to Andrew McCutchen and two-a-piece for Aaron Hicks and Greg Bird. Bird was the only starter who did not record a hit. Miguel Andújar, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, and McCutchen each recorded RBIs as well.

What’s Next:

Sonny Gray, who owns a 1.83 ERA in 19⅔ innings (six games, one start) since his bullpen demotion, returns to the rotation for a spot-start. The Twins will employ the “opener” tactic, sending Tyler Duffey to the mound.

Yankees 10, Orioles 3: Andújar Helps Slug Yanks to DH-Opening Win

BALTIMORE – The Yankees clocked four home runs Saturday afternoon as they hung a 10-spot on the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of their doubleheader.

The biggest of those four came from Miguel Andújar, who hit No. 21 on his fantastic season with two runners on to cap a four-run third inning. Brett Gardner hit a solo shot in the fourth, Gleyber Torres hit one in the eighth and Aaron Hicks hit his home run in the ninth inning.

J.A. Happ delivered another quality start for the Yankees, going six innings and allowing just two earned runs. He recorded nine strikeouts to just one walk, and also got five ground ball outs. Luckily for the Yankees and Aaron Boone, the Yankees only had to use 26th man Luis Cessa to finish the game. The righty allowed a run on three hits in three innings to earn his first career save.

The only Yankees not to record hits were Giancarlo Stanton, Neil Walker and Kyle HigashiokaAaron Hicks went 3-for-5 with two runs driven in, while Luke Voit collected his 10th RBI on the season with a run-scoring single. Andújar led the team with four RBI on the afternoon.

What’s Next:

More baseball tonight. Sonny Gray (9-8, 5.34 ERA) returns from bullpen exile for a spot start against Andrew Cashner (4-11, 4.84 ERA) in Game Two.

Blue Jays 2, Yankees 10: Yanks Secure Sweep, Shift Concern to Didi

Bird’s second slam of 2018 powers Yanks to sweep.

THE BRONX – For the second consecutive day, the Yankees put 10 runs on the board as they swept the Toronto Blue Jays with a win Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of people contributing, and really, I felt like our hunger was good coming in,” Aaron Boone said. “Really pleased with how the guys came out today from a focus, energy standpoint, to finish this homestand that was kind of up-and-down on a really good note.”

The Yankees got their runs in two bunches, with a six-run first inning and four-run sixth inning. The Blue Jays actually scored first since J.A. Happ allowed a solo home run with two outs in the top of the first inning to Randal Grichuk on a 3-0 fastball.

But, the offense backed their starter in the bottom of the frame, thanks to some shoddy command from Jays starter Ryan Borucki. Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton each walked to lead off the game, then moved up a base on a double steal. Miguel Andújar followed with a single to left that scored Hicks.

Didi Gregorius came to the plate next, and he hit a ground ball to second base that ate up Devon Travis. Travis’s throw to first was late, and pulled first baseman Kendrys Morales into the baseline. Gregorius and Morales collided, leaving Gregorius worse for the wear. It was scored an RBI single as Stanton scored. Gregorius would stay in the game to run the bases, moving to second on an infield single hit by Gleyber Torres.

Greg Bird came to the plate next, entering fresh off a garbage-time solo shot in the eighth inning the day before but hitting just .140/.222/.246 in August. With the bases loaded, he crushed a 2-1 sinker on the inside corner into the second deck in right field for his second career grand slam.

“It’s a product of keeping your head up,” Bird said. “I felt like I did a better job of using my legs today … I just keep playing. I keep going. The biggest thing is not getting caught up and chasing results, and just doing what you can when you get the opportunity.”

Morales homered off Happ for the Blue Jays in the sixth, but the Yankees more than made up for it in the bottom of the inning. Brett Gardner singled, Hicks worked another walk and Stanton smacked an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Gardner. Andújar followed by juuuuust beating out a double play ball hit up the middle. The Blue Jays challenged, and lost.

Ronald Torreyes* doubled, and Torres was intentionally walked to face Bird. Bird grounded into a 3-2 force at home plate, but the return throw to first was late, according to first base umpire Jansen Visconti. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was out of challenges (having already lost one), and wanted a crew chief review of the play at first. Visconti wanted no part of that, and handed Gibbons his sixth ejection of the season.

With runners on second and third, Kyle Higashioka ripped a two-run single to score Torreyes and Torres. That capped the scoring for both teams. Happ pitched 5⅓ innings, giving up the solo homers to Grichuk and Morales. Jonathan Holder pitched 1⅔ and Sonny Gray got the final six outs to lockdown the sweep.

“It was strange, I can admit that,” Happ said. “I think I’d probably prefer not knowing the opposition the way I know those guys. But we got through it, had a big first inning and got a good win.”

The only Yankee without a hit was Shane Robinson. Torreyes managed to go 3-for-4 with two singles and a double despite not starting the game.

* I put an asterisk next to Torreyes’s name because he entered as a defensive replacement for Gregorius after the latter played an inning after the collision. The Yankees announced later that Didi had a “bruised left heel” and was headed to a local hospital for further testing. After the game, Aaron Boone said that the injury was “pretty significant” and that he could spend some time on the disabled list.


What’s Next:

The first off-day since July 30. Then, the team heads south to Miami to take on the Marlins in a short two-game series. Masahiro Tanaka starts game one and Lance Lynn starts game two.

Game 124: Sweep Your Old Friends, Happ

With the first two games of the series already in their back pocket, the Yankees look to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays out of town behind an old friend of their’s.

J.A. Happ gets the ball, making his first start against the Blue Jays since July 25, 2015, as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Happ has been better than advertised since coming to the Yankees for a package of Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney. He has won all three of his starts, and sports a stingy 1.89 ERA in 19 total innings as a Yankee.

His counterpart will be 24-year-old lefty Ryan Borucki, whom the Yankees are familiar with already. He held the Yankees to one run through seven innings July 8, in a game the Yanks eventually won in the 10th inning off old friend Tyler Clippard. In six starts since then, Borucki has a 2-1 record and 3.94 ERA. The Blue Jays are 5-1 in those starts.

Neil Walker, who had some, err, adventures in right field yesterday, gets the afternoon off in favor of Shane Robinson. Kyle Higashioka, who took over as precaution after Austin Romine took a brutal foul-tip to the catcher’s mask yesterday, gets the start behind the plate this afternoon as planned. Aaron Hicks slides into the leadoff spot, where he’s hitting .269/.357/.593 in 127 plate appearances. Miguel Andújar bats third for the third time this season, though he’s yet to register a hit in that position. He’s slashing .361/.378/.667 in 111 plate appearances since the All-Star break. Brett Gardner slides to ninth against the lefty, a spot where he’s slashed .250/.304/.400 in 23 plate appearances.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • Romine told reporters that he feels “great” and that he “can play today,” though I’d imagine the Yankees will avoid that scenario at all costs.
  • Aaron Boone told reporters that he is “confident” Giancarlo Stanton, who has been playing through a tight left hamstring that has limited him to designated hitter duty, will be able to play the outfield Tuesday in Miami. He said that would be determined before that game.
  • Gary Sánchez will begin playing rehab games in Tampa on Wednesday or Thursday, though it’s unclear whether he will start in the Gulf Coast League or with A-Adv. Tampa. He was scheduled to head to Tampa today, but instead, took batting practice on the field in the Bronx today. He’ll head south tomorrow.

Blue Jays Lineup:

  1. Russell Martin – 3B (Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is hitting .345/.448/.600 in Triple-A… service time!)
  2. Devon Travis – 2B
  3. Randal Grichuk – RF
  4. Kendrys Morales – 1B
  5. Kevin Pillar – CF
  6. Teoscar Hernández – DH
  7. Danny Jansen – C
  8. Aledmys Díaz – SS
  9. Billy McKinney – LF

Yankees 4, White Sox 3: Miguel Andújar, Sonny Gray Star in Wild Extra-Innings Win

CHICAGO – If someone told me pre-game that Sonny Gray would be a key piece to tonight’s win, I wouldn’t believe you.

The right-hander who watched Lance Lynn throw 7⅓ shutout innings in his rotation spot last night took on his new role in a tough situation. After Zach Britton blew a save by allowing a two-run home run to José Abreu in the bottom of the 10th inning, Gray entered in the 11th and got nine outs while allowing just one hit and one walk.

The Yankees got the lead for good in the 13th inning. Didi Gregorius worked a one-out walk, and moved into scoring position on Luke Voit‘s first Yankees single. Two pitches later, Miguel Andújar golfed a changeup from Luis Avilán into left field to score Didi.

Unfortunately, the Yankees thought they had won the game three innings prior. Brett Gardner worked a walk in the 10th after pinch-hitting for Shane Robinson in the seventh, and Giancarlo Stanton powered a two-run shot off Tyler Danish to give the Yanks a 3-1 advantage.

That did not stand, however, as Britton could not hold the lead. Omar Narváez was drilled as the first batter and then Abreu powered a 1-1 sinker deep to center to tie the game.

The first seven innings of the game proved to be a pitchers’ duel. CC Sabathia struck out 12 White Sox hitters in his 5⅔ innings of work. Reynaldo López did not allow a hit until the sixth inning against the Yankees. Abreu hit a sacrifice fly in the third, and Andújar homered in the seventh for the only runs in regulation.


What’s Next:

Luis Severino faces off against Lucas Giolito looking for a Yankees sweep.

Game 112: Make It Two

After snapping a five-game losing streak last night against the White Sox, CC Sabathia looks to keep the momentum going in the right direction.

Sabathia gets the ball after needing 77 pitches to get just nine outs August 2 in Boston. He allowed just two runs, but the Yankees wound up getting clobbered. He walked four and gave up three hits. The Yankees went 3-1 in his starts in July, though he managed to put up an unwieldy 5.48 ERA in those 21⅓ innings.

Reynaldo López gets the ball for the South-Siders. Signed in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic, López came to the White Sox with Dane Dunning and Lucas Giolito in the deal that sent Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals. In 22 starts this season, he has a 4-9 record and a 4.47 ERA. His 5.16 FIP indicates he’s been hit hard, and a 4.0 walks-per-9 shows the command isn’t there yet for the 24-year-old.

Brett Gardner gets the night off, having started 12 of the last 13 games. Shane Robinson spells him in left field. Miguel Andújar once again serves as the designated hitter with Neil Walker suiting up at the hot corner. Kyle Higashioka gets another start behind the dish.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • The Yankees caught a break in their trade of Brandon Drury, whom the Blue Jays placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hand fracture today. It turns out the injury was sustained July 24 against the Rays, which ended up being his final game as a Yankee before being dealt with Billy McKinney for J.A. Happ.
  • Speaking of Happ: the team hasn’t decided whether Chance Adams will start Thursday or if Happ will return to pitch then. Adams will stick around with the big league club until that decision is made because of the 10-day rule.
  • There is nothing wrong with Austin Romine. Just sitting again because he caught five days in a row.
  • Aaron Judge has yet to start swinging a bat.
  • Clint Frazier and Michael Kay appear to have figured out their weird squabble over Kay’s comments regarding Frazier’s concussion. Boone said the two talked on the phone and it was now “water under the bridge”.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Tim Anderson – SS
  2. Avisail García – RF
  3. José Abreu – 1B
  4. Matt Davidson – DH
  5. Yoan Moncada – 2B
  6. Ryan LaMarre – LF
  7. Yolmer Sánchez – 3B
  8. Adam Engel – CF
  9. Omar Narváez – C

Yankees 7, White Sox 0: Oh, Winning Is Fun

Back in the win column.

CHICAGO – The Yankees desperately needed to beat up on a bad team after suffering four brutal losses in Boston this past weekend. They got their wish Monday night against the White Sox in Chicago.

Lance Lynn put together another excellent pitching performance, throwing 7⅓ innings and allowing just two hits and one walk. He racked up nine strikeouts and seven ground outs. Lynn’s performance is especially exciting to the Yankees since he’s taking the rotation spot of Sonny Gray. A.J. Cole mopped up the last five outs, allowing one hit and one walk.

The Yankees offense finally broke out to the tune of 10 hits and seven runs behind their stellar pitching. White Sox starter Dylan Covey retired the Yankees in order in his first time through, but would not be so lucky the second time around. In the fourth inning, Giancarlo Stanton worked a one-out walk, which was followed by a Didi Gregorius double. Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres did their jobs next, each knocking RBI singles into center field for the Yankees first two runs of the evening.

Greg Bird should have knocked a three-run home run over the centerfield wall, but it ended up being a 405-foot fly out after the center fielder Adam Engel robbed him on a fantastic play.

In the fifth, Kyle Higashioka and Brett Gardner singled with one out. With Higashioka on third and Stanton at the plate, Covey threw a pitch catcher Kevan Smith could not handle which allowed the Yankee backstop to score. It was ruled a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Gregorius lined an RBI single into left field to score Gardner.

The eighth inning saw a power display from Yankee infielders. Gleyber Torres turned around a 95 mph fastball for his 18th home run of the season with one out, then Neil Walker crushed a 429-foot shot on the first pitch after a two-out walk to Miguel Andújar.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria got creative with his pitching in the top of the ninth inning, turning to corner infielder Matt Davidson. It was his third appearance on the mound, and he had yet to allow a hit or a run. He managed to strike out Stanton on a 71 mph curveball, but he did allow his first hit of the season to Hicks. The Yankees did not score off Davidson.