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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees follows through on a fourth inning RBI base hit against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium on June 24, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Series Recap: Yankees vs. Phillies

In a series that should have been dominated by the Yankees, the rag-tag Phillies took control. They took the first two games in fashion, scoring over 10 runs in each game. The Yanks avoided the sweep with a crushing win, but not before letting a very manageable series get away from them.

The first game on Monday night can be summarized by one name: Maikel Franco. The 22-year old third baseman collected 4 hits and 5 RBI on the strength of two home runs in an 11-8 barn-burner. Yankees starter Michael Pineda continued his streaky play, allowing 8 runs in 3.1 innings one start after taking a no-hitter into the 7th. Franco was not alone offensively, as Ben Revere and Freddy Galvis each had three hits. The Phils went an impressive 7-13 with runners in scoring position, and reliever Chasen Shreve was the only Yankees pitcher to not allow a hit in his 1 inning of work.

The Yanks played well offensively too, but couldn’t get past their pitching woes. Brett Gardner had 4 hits, including a homer, and Carlos Beltran also had 3 hits. Brian McCann hit a homer and Garrett Jones had 2 hits and 2 RBI. Although they won, the Phillies burned through their bullpen. 4 relievers combined to keep the Yankees in check through the last 6 innings, albeit Jonathan Papelbon gave up 2 runs in the 9th but eventually closed the door.

Franco again dominated offensively in an 11-6 Phillies win. He had another 5 RBI, including a 3-run dinger and a 2-run double in the ninth to break a tie. Andres Blanco hit a 3-run triple to cap a 5-run closing frame. Ben Revere tallied another 3 hit night, as did Cesar Hernandez. Yanks hurler CC Sabathia again was derailed in the middle innings, as he wasn’t able to escape the 5th. 5 relievers were used to try to keep the team in the game, but ultimately Dellin Betances was tagged for his first career loss. He gave up 4 runs in his inning of work.

Again, the Yankees bats were quite lively. 4 Yankees had multi-hit games, highlighted by Alex Rodriguez. He hit a solo homer and drove in 2 in the ballgame. The team just couldn;t get it done with runners in scoring position, going a measly 1-12. The Phils burned through their bullpen, using 5 relievers after starter Sean O’Sullivan only got through 4.1 innings. The Yankees tallied just two hits over the final 4 innings.

The explosive offense continued for the Bronx Bombers, but not for the Phillies. The 10-2 win for the Yankees saw 15 hits but no homers. Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira combined for 5 hits and 4 RBI in the middle of the order. Jose Pirela, in a rare start, had 2 hits and 2 RBI. Cole Hamels went 5 for the Phillies, but wasn’t helped by a gassed bullpen. Justin De Fratus gave up 4 runs in the final 2 innings as the Phils had no one left to turn to after the burning through their ‘pen in the first two games.

The game was most noted for the season debut of Ivan Nova, who made his return from Tommy John Surgery with authority. He allowed just 3 hits over 6.2 innings by pitching to contact, striking out only one Phillies batter. This gave the bullpen a much-needed break. Brian Mitchell and Diego Moreno were the only other arms used, and combined to allow the only 2 runs that Philadelphia earned. After his torrid start to the set, Franco was held hitless. Ryan Howard was the lone bright spot with 2 hits.

All told, the Yankees offense wasn’t supported by strong showings from the pitching staff in an unfortunate series loss. However, there were some bright spots.

Offensive MVP: Brett Gardner– 2 homers and 5 RBI from the leadoff spot to highlight a 7-13 series.

Offensive Slug: Didi Gregorius– Just 3 hits in 13 at-bats in a lineup that produced well each game.

Pitcher of the Series: Ivan Nova– An incredible comeback from elbow surgery with 6.2 scoreless.

Pitching Nightmare: Michael Pineda– Didn’t make it out of the 4th, giving up 8 runs and 11 hits.