BRONX, N.Y. —The New York Yankees certainly displayed some resourceful play in taking three of four contests from the Seattle Mariners. Yes, the finale was eminently winnable but it’s hard to take four straight games from anyone, and in the big picture they created some distance between themselves and the M’s in the wild card chase. In total, the Yankees capped off a 5-2 homestand and gained some ground on their AL East foes in the process.
It was the Joey Gallo game, as the newly acquired Yankee had his signature moment in the pinstripes 5-3 victory.
Both clubs traded runs in the early going. The Yanks trailed the M’s 3-2, following a seventh inning porch job by Jarred Kelenic, off Chad Green.
Yet, in the home half, the Bronx Bombers responded against Paul Sewald. After a pair of two-out singles from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Gallo absolutely launched a high-arching missile to the porch, off a 1-0 slider. That hangtime homer handed the Bombers a 5-3 advantage.
From there, Zack Britton pitched around a Ty France leadoff double in the eighth inning, coaxing an inning-ending double-play ball by Luis Torrens. Aroldis Chapman also worked out of a first and third jam, appropriately getting Mitch Haniger to fly out to Gallo in left for the final out.
One could not have expected more from a contest where the Yankees cobbled together a bullpen game with nine relievers. Couple that with the fact that none of them went more than two innings and the game went 11. Plus, 42 years to the day when Yankee veteran Bobby Murcer honored his friend and late-teammate Thurman Munson with a walk-off winner, another Yankee vet, Brett Gardner provided the heroics in a 3-2 win.
It was not a banner evening for either offense, and the Yankees posted a 2-for-15 ledger with RISP. Their rally to pull even in the eighth was also dubious. Trailing 1-0 and facing Diego Castillo, Gardner drew a walk, DJ LeMahieu followed suit, Anthony Rizzo was plunked and Judge lined a sac-fly RBI to left for the equalizer. Yet, the Yankees could only muster one run out of that.
Both clubs traded runs in the tenth. The Mariners scored as J.P. Crawford singled to right off Green. The Yankees responded on a Stanton RBI-single to right off ex-Yankee farmhand Erik Swanson. It was some redemption for Stanton, who banged into a double-play in the eighth.
As mentioned, in the eleventh inning, facing Keynan Middleton with two outs and Gallon on second base as the automatic runner, Gardner lined a base knock to center for the winner. Like Stanton, Gardner found some redemption after popping out to end the ninth and the Yankee breathed a sigh of relief.
Not that the M’s hit him particularly but an inning later it looked like Heaney might let the game slip. Seattle plated a run on a bases-loaded walk by Abraham Toro. Haniger added to that with a sac-fly to right. However, to his credit, Heaney toughed out six innings for a bullpen that was stretched thin the evening prior. He kept the contest within striking distance and struck out nine on the afternoon.
The lineup rewarded Heaney for sticking it out in the sixth. Stanton, who played a solid right-field and recorded his fifth consecutive multi-hit game, set the table with a single to left. The ensuing batter Rougned Odor went down to one knee and his proposal was answered on the porch for a two-run tater, chasing Flexen from the game.
With Anthony Misiewicz on and Boone pinch-hitting Torres for Tyler Wade, the Yankee shortstop reached third on a tough-luck error by Haniger, who slipped and fell in right-field. Pinch-hitting for Rob Brantly, Higashioka delivered the equalizer with a ground-rule double to left, chasing Misiewicz.
LeMahieu, who looks more comfortable now that he’s focusing on solely playing second base, notched a single to right to set up runners at the corners. Both LeMahieu and Higashioka also displayed some shrewd baserunning as well. Luckily, the M’s first baseman France stepped on the bag after fielding a Rizzo grounder. Higashioka ran on contact and LeMahieu stayed hung up in a rundown long enough to make sure the Yankee catcher scored the go-ahead run.
From there, Clay Holmes was throwing bowling ball sinkers, striking out the side in the seventh inning and recording one out in the eighth.
It was a sleepy Sunday 2-0 loss for the Yankees. Both starters, Yusei Kikuchi and Luis Gil matched each other with five frames of scoreless ball, pitching in and out of jams. Gil recorded eight Ks, walked two, and yielded a pair of hits. Yet, the offense, without Rizzo, out on COVID-19 protocol, couldn’t muster much. Where Rizzo may have met the ball, Luke Voit, fresh off the IL, kept trying to hit 800 foot home runs to no avail.
Aside from Torres and his three-hit afternoon, it was a dull roar from the lineup, which sported an 0-for-11 with RISP.
During the eighth inning, the M’s plated a pair of unearned runs against Lucas Luetge. Toro reached on a fielding error by Odor at third. Following a Haniger walk, Seager yanked a ground-rule double about a stride or so away from Judge and into the stands in right, scoring Toro. Following a pair of strikeouts, Luetge allowed an RBI single to Cal Raleigh, which would’ve been worse had Gallo not cut down Seager at the dish for the final out of the frame.
Call overturned! Joey Gallo registers his 10th outfield assist of the season to keep it a two-run game. #YANKSonYES