The New York Yankees finished off their West Coast swing with a 5-4 ledger after recording a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners. New York kept pounding the ball and the pitching held up its end of the bargain. This was a series of milestones with the longball.
The Yankees moved up the coast and continued to launch the ball up and out of the ballpark in the Pacific Northwest. A huge second inning proved decisive in a 5-4 victory.
SECOND STANZA SWATS
Batting around during the second inning, the Yankee order went to work on reliever Tommy Milone.
Lifting New York on the board was Gleyber Torres. Torres smoked a solo shot to straightaway center.
The second inning wasn’t a pleasant time for J.A. Happ either. The veteran lefty yielded a two-out, three-run homer to center by Dylan Moore, cutting the New York edge to 4-3. Otherwise, it was a pretty standard outing by Happ, but he was able to pitch to the scoreboard against a bad M’s squad. Happ went five and fly, allowing three runs, two hits, three walks, and struck out seven.
Aside from Nestor Cortes Jr. allowing a solo shot to right by Mallex Smith in the seventh inning, the bullpen basically staved off the Mariners offense. Tommy Kahnle whizzed through a scoreless eighth inning with a pair of K’s. Aroldis Chapman tossed up an identical ledger in the ninth inning to lock it down.
In securing the series, the Yankees really cruised, blanking the Mariners 7-0.
KEEPING IT 100
Facing Yusei Kikuchi in the first frame, the Yankees power was on full display. After LeMahieu singled to left, Judge jolted a two-run tater to dead center and provided the Yankees with a 2-0 advantage on career home run No. 100. Judge became the third-fastest player to reach the century mark.
During the third, the Bronx Bombers touched up Kikuchi some more. Following consecutive singles by Torres and Gary Sanchez, Brett Gardner busted a three-run shot to right, making it 5-0 Yanks. Hence, Gardner leads all New York outfielders in home runs with 18, at least for one more day.
No matter the time zone, it was Tanaka time for Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees. Tanaka twirled four no-hit frames before Kyle Seager pulled a double to right, bringing back memories of Al Martin’s hit in the 2000 ALCS as Roger Clemens one-hit the M’s in Seattle. Tanaka would only allow three hits, one of which was probably an error by Torres at shortstop, walked one, and fanned seven in seven scoreless frames.
In completing the sweep, the Yankees’ home runs had the launch angle arc of a Dale Ellis three at Key Arena back in the day. The four home runs added up to a 7-3 victory.
I have to give a shoutout out to Keith McPherson on this one. After Dee Gordon played a ground ball into a two-out Torres single to second, Sanchez smoked Justus Sheffield. The Bronx Bombers’ backstop leaned into a full-count slider to left and did a nice Cadillac job around the bases. Sanchez registered his second career season with 30 dingers. El Gary also cut down a pair of would-be base-stealers at second as well.
In his old haunts, James Paxton was rolling with his changeup and curveball for the first few innings without yielding a hit. Yet, he and Sheffield, who were swapped for each other in the offseason, seemed to trade places temporarily in the fourth. Sheffield whiffed the side, while Paxton found bouts of wildness and yielded a game-tying two-run tater to Kyle Seager in the fourth frame. He would keep it right there, however, and the Yankees allowed him to rest after five innings.
Reality would resurface as well with the Yanks offense in the fifth frame. Ford uncorked a solo swat to right, providing New York with a 3-2 edge.