Tag: Sonny Gray

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.

Game 144: Trio in the Twin Cities

The Yankees kick off a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins tonight, sending lefty J.A. Happ to the hill.

Happ got a no-decision his last time out, but pitched quite well. He allowed just one run on two hits Tuesday in Oakland. He’s the owner of a 5-0 record and 3.10 ERA since his trade from Toronto to the Yankees.

Happ’s opponent is Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. Gibson has been the Twins’ best qualified starter this season in terms of ERA (3.74), though his 7-12 record is nowhere near as pretty. The righty gave up four runs (two earned) his last time out a week ago against Houston on four hits, one walk and five strikeouts.


Pregame Notes:

  • NOT A DRILL: Aaron Judge took five rounds of batting practice on the field today, “without the hint of pain,” per George A. King III of the New York Post. It’s a huge step to see the big fella taking live BP, and here’s to hoping he can sneak into the RailRiders lineup as they chase the Governor’s Cup.
  • Speaking of the Triple-A playoffs, ex-Yankees righty Giovanny Gallegos (traded to St. Louis) had a pinch-hit walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning after the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds ran out of position players. You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.
  • Luke Voit has some back stiffness, and will sit in favor of Greg Bird tonight. Aaron Boone said Voit’s issue is not serious and that he’ll be available off the bench.
  • Sonny Gray gets the spot-start tomorrow as the Yankees push everyone back a day. The October 3 Wild Card game looms large as the season starts to wrap up, and this is a move to have either Luis Severino or Masahiro Tanaka lined up for that evening.

Twins Lineup:

(italics denotes ex-Yankees)
  1. Joe Mauer – 1B
  2. Jorge Polanco – SS
  3. Logan Forsythe – 2B
  4. Robbie Grossman – RF
  5. Mitch Garver – C
  6. Willians Astudillo – DH
  7. Jake Cave – CF
  8. Johnny Field – LF
  9. Gregorio Petit – 3B

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.

Chapman Placed on DL; Adams Recalled; Rabago Claimed

The Yankees placed closer Aroldis Chapman on the 10-day disabled list today, and recalled righty Chance Adams from Triple-A to take his roster spot. The Yanks claimed catcher Chris Rabago from the Colorado Rockies and optioned him to Double-A Trenton.

Chapman had been pitching through tendinitis in his left knee all season, but had been able to manage it himself. He told reporters after the game Tuesday that the pain he felt was worse than usual. He threw just six pitches in his appearance in the 12th inning before summoning the trainer from the dugout. He was relieved by Tommy Kahnle, who got the save 17 pitches later. Chapman is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 50 appearances. He is 31-for-33 in save attempts.

Adams will serve as a long-relief option for the Yankees tonight in Miami, and will be one of the options (along with Luis Cessa and Sonny Gray) to start in Saturday’s doubleheader in Baltimore. The Yanks No. 13 prospect, he made his MLB debut August 4 in Boston, allowing three runs on three hits in five innings of work.

Rabago was the Rockies’ 13th round pick in the 2014 draft. In 66 games for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, he was hitting .213/.292/.361 with four home runs and 23 RBI. The Yankees will likely recall Rabago to be the third catcher September 1 until Gary Sánchez returns from his rehab assignment.

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.

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.

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.