Game Day

Bird notches first home run in Yankees’ second straight series sweep

The New York Yankees took down the St. Louis Cardinals in the Sunday night showdown and have yet to lose at home this season. Behind the bats of Aaron Judge and Greg Bird, the Yankees completed their second straight series sweep by a score of 9-3.

Greg Bird broke out of his slump in a big way with a mammoth shot to right field in the bottom of the third inning. The blast came off of Cardinals’ starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright. Prior to Bird’s homer, Judge launched a pitch to right field that was interfered with by a fan. Chase Headley scored on the bizarre play and Judge ended up on third base with a triple.

The Yankees’ patience in their past two games have forced the Cardinals to go to their bullpen early. Both Carlos Martinez and Wainwright failed to make it past the sixth inning, which is a testament to how well the Yankees have been seeing the ball.

The Yankee bats peppered Wainwright all night. The former Cy-Young candidate allowed 10 hits, four earned runs, two walks and struck out four in 4.2 innings.

On the other side of the bump, Yankees’ starter Michael Pineda turned in a quality outing for his team. Pineda pitched seven innings, struck out six and allowed only two earned runs in a winning effort.

Aaron Hicks provided Pineda with some run support in the bottom of the fifth inning when he hit a solo home run to right field. The homer pushed the Yankees lead to 4-1.

Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina homered off of Pineda in the top of the seventh inning to reduce the deficit to two runs.

The Yankees piled on four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the lead 9-2. Doubles by Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes brought home two runs each and put the game out of reach for the Cardinals. Bryan Mitchell came on in the ninth and surrendered a run, but ultimately locked down the win.

The Cardinals’ abysmal start to the season was made worse Sunday night. After getting swept by the Yankees, the Cards fell to 3-9 on the season and remain last in the NL Central Division.

Pitching carrying Yankees

The Yankees’ starting pitching has been most important over the course of their seven game winning streak. No starter has allowed more than two earned runs in any of the wins, which has taken a lot of pressure off of the Yankee bats. To go along with that, the bullpen has been just as effective allowing only one earned run during the win streak.

Bird back, Romine effective

Bird’s resurgence only spells good things for the Yankees’ lineup going forward. The Yankees currently have five players hitting over .300 on the season and if Bird continues to hit well, he will make the lineup more lethal than it already is.

Romine has been stellar for the Yankees in lieu of Gary Sanchez getting injured. Romine boosts the confidence of the Yankee pitchers, especially Michael Pineda, who has gone seven innings in each of Romine’s starts. He made it a point to make Pineda utilize his changeup more and now the big righty is dominating.

Along with Romine’s game-calling ability, his bat has provided the Yankees with more than they expected from him at the plate. The Yankees’ backup catcher is hitting .333 with a home run and has provided his team with quality at-bats.

What’s Next?

The Chicago White Sox are coming to the Bronx on Monday night. Jordan Montgomery will be taking on Derek Holland in a battle of southpaws. The Yankees will be looking for their MLB best eighth victory in a row.

Not only are the Yankees undefeated at home, they are undefeated without, arguably, their best hitter, Sanchez.

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