BRONX, N.Y. — A four-game set turned into a three-game series. Yet, considering the circumstances, it was pretty good, as the New York Yankees took two of three from the Boston Red Sox. A combination of some scrappy Scranton callups coupled with some of the usual suspects playing up to their potential made for an enjoyable start to the second half of the season.
After the Thursday night game was scratched, it was about as bleak as could be. Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, Kyle Higashioka, Nestor Cortes Jr., and Wandy Peralta, all joined Jonathan Loaisiga on the COVID-19 protocol list. Plus, Luke Voit was placed on the regular IL with a bruised knee. So, to say the Yankees were undermanned was an understatement in their 4-0 defeat.
In the second inning, the Red Sox scored as many runs as the Yankees would have hits on the evening. A Hunter Renfroe ground out to shortstop and a two-run homer to center by Christian Arroyo was the extent of the damage allowed by Jordan Montgomery.
The closest semblance to a rally came in the seventh inning. Facing Tanner Houck, Chris Gittens coaxed a two-out walk and Greg Allen lined a pinch-hit single to right. Yet, pinch-hitter Hoy Jun Park would ground out to first base on the first pitch he saw.
Fighting through some odd rain delays, the Yankees muscled up and rode some power pitching and power hitting to a 3-1 victory. Yes, it was a rain-shortened six inning victory but also MLB has seven inning doubleheaders, so, they all count.
The rest did Gerrit Cole well and he followed up his superb Houston outing with another gem. The lone blip for Cole was an Arroyo RBI single in the second stanza. Otherwise, Cole bulldozed the Bosox, fanning 11, scattering five hits, and walking a pair. The outing was Cole’s sixth with 11+ Ks and one run allowed or fewer. Albeit abbreviated, yet another complete game.
Offensively, the Bronx Bombers finally got it going against ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi in the fifth frame. Allen broke up the no-hitter with a two-out double to center. Ensuing batter DJ LeMahieu plated him for the equalizer with a single to left.
During the sixth inning, the Bronx Bombers displayed some 2019 clout. With one out, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres belted consecutive solo swats to right-center, providing the pinstripes with a 3-1 advantage.
A night after Tim Locastro went down with a torn ACL on a nice catch in left, the Yankees had another spate of injuries Sunday evening. Trey Amburgey’s hammy cramped up, Ryan LaMarre slammed into the wall and Brett Gardner banged into the wall as well. Heck, LaMarre, Gittens, and Rougned Odor all nearly collided in the Bermuda triangle in right too. However, New York did just about everything right and it made for a fun-filled laugher by the replacements, 9-1.
The power prowess carried over for Torres, who went yard for the second consecutive contest, taking Martin Perez deep in the second stanza.
A third inning Giancarlo Stanton ground out made it 2-0.
In the fifth frame, the Yankees played some small ball. Odor set the table with a bunt single. Odor then went from first to third on a LaMarre single to right, and LaMarre moved up to second on a Renfroe throwing error. After Garrett Whitlock replacing Perez, Allen plated Odor with a sac fly to center. Manufacturing a run? How about that?!
On the bump, is Jameson Taillon good now? He sure has strung together some solid outings of late. In 18.1 frames this month, the righty has posted a 1.49 ERA. He toiled with some high heat for 5.1 frames of scoreless ball, fanning three, walking two, and scattering four hits. Chad Green picked him up in the sixth with two runners on and a big strikeout of Rafael Devers.