The New York Yankees finished off their homestand with yet another series victory. The Bronx Bombers took two-of-three from the Atlanta Braves. It was another measuring stick series between two of the best squads in each league.
Nearly the second time around, the Braves began to wear out Jonathan Loaisiga. Johan Camargo clocked a solo homer to right in the third to square the game.
After the Yankees regained the lead by scoring on a wild pitch in the third, Atlanta struck again in the fourth.
Kurt Suzuki won an 11-pitch at-bat, doubling home Nick Markakis to tie the game at two. Ronald Acuna Jr. traded places with Suzuki with an RBI-double of his own to left, providing Atlanta with a 3-2 edge.
With the bases loaded in the fifth, the Yankees could only muster a sacrifice fly RBI by Didi Gregorius to knot the score at three. New York couldn’t get the job done with runners at the corners in the eighth when Neil Walker was sent up as a pinch hitter but struck out to end the threat. It was one of four times Gleyber Torres, batting ninth, was left in the on-deck circle, on what was a three-hit evening for the rookie second baseman. The pinstripes could plate a run with the bases loaded in the tenth either.
In the eleventh, an error by Torres allowed Markakis to reach against David Robertson. Suzuki would follow with a 5-4 groundout. Yet, ensuing batter Acuna Jr. would homer to right on a ball which barely eluded Judge for the go-ahead difference maker.
It was a true team effort in the Yankees 8-5 grind it out victory.
HICKS TO THE STICKS
In a fairly new month, Aaron Hicks is having himself a month in July. In the first, Hicks thwacked a two-run tater to right off Sean Newcomb. In doing so, Hicks equaled his 2017 home run total.
If it’s not a home run, Kyle Higashioka wants nothing to do with it. During the second, the Yankees backstop ripped his second career hit, which was also his second career home run, also to left, increasing the Bronx Bombers lead to 3-0.
Domingo German looked sharp early but found himself in the same spot as Loaisiga the night before. German recorded six K’s in 4.1 frames but yielded consecutive home runs to Ender Inciarte, a two-run shot to right and Ozzie Albies, a solo blast to right as well. This cut the Yankees lead to 6-3 in the fifth.
From there it was buckle up time for the underbelly of the bullpen. A.J. Cole fanned four in 1.2 scoreless frames. Adam Warren, who was a recipient of a nice play up the middle by Gregorius, yielded a two-run home run to Markakis in the seventh, as part of his 1.1 innings. Chasen Shreve held back the Braves by recording two outs in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman would close it out with a scoreless ninth in his third consecutive outing.
STANTON MAKES IT 20
Helping give the Yankees some breathing room, Giancarlo Stanton swatted home run No. 20 on the campaign in the eighth, a two-run wall scraper to right. Stanton has now recorded a 20 home run season in each of his nine major league seasons.
It was a happy fourth for the Yankees, riding a power surge from Stanton, Higashioka and Judge, plus a solid outing by CC Sabathia, resulting in a 6-2 victory.
BIRD ON THE BOARD
The pinstripes jumped out front during the second stanza. Following a Didi Gregorius sliced double to left, Greg Bird lined an RBI-single to right off Julio Teheran, giving New York a 1-0 lead.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN STERLING!
Paying homage to his former radio partner John Sterling, on his 80th birthday, Michael Kay made a Sterling esque call. Although he didn’t have much time to mull it over, as Stanton’s rocket to right flew out in a hurry. The three-run missile posted the Bronx Bombers to a 4-0 lead in the third.
In the fourth, Higashioka recorded his third career hit, which was also his third career home run. In doing so, Higashioka became the ninth player to turn the trick, joining the likes of former Yankee Alfonso Soriano. The shot to left made it 5-0 Yankees.
Sabathia has been so good this season, it’s beyond a nice surprise, it’s practically expected. The veteran southpaw turned in another solid outing, crossing the century mark in pitch count. Sabathia’s ledger included six innings with five K’s, five hits, three walks and two runs allowed. Given the previous two rookie outings, the length was a welcome respite for the bullpen.
Following the game, the Yankees placed Torres on the 10-day DL with a right hip strain. So, get used to seeing a lot of Drury, Walker and maybe some Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes at some point at second base.
At 56-28, the Yankees travel to Toronto and take on the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series starting Friday.
Pitching probables, Sonny Gray vs. Sam Gaviglio, Luis Severino vs. J.A. Happ, Domingo German vs. Ryan Borucki.