Ivan Nova's stellar start leads Yankees to 2-1 victory over Orioles

The Yankees opened their four-game series with the division leading Baltimore Orioles on Monday and they sent Ivan Nova to the hill. Nova came into Monday’s contest hanging onto his rotation spot by a thread. If the Yankees want to make a playoff push, it’s necessary that they win a minimum of three games this series. They got off on the right foot on Monday winning a tightly contest matchup by a score of 2-1.
Photo Credit: Al Bello | Getty Images
The Yankees struck first and in a loud way on an Alex Rodriguez bomb into the left field bleachers during the second inning. It was exactly one month ago when A-Rod launched his last home run. Rodriguez came into Monday’s outing with prior success against Baltimore’s starting pitcher, Kevin Gausman. Rodriguez was 5-11 with two home runs prior to the game versus the O’s starter.

Of course – predictably – Nova gave the run right back to the Orioles on a Jonathan Schoop home run in the third. It was Schoop’s 16th home run of the year, putting him in three-way tie for fourth amongst all second basemen.

The Yankees took the lead in the bottom half of the third after Brett Gardner singled, moved to third on a base hit by Carlos Beltran and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brian McCann. The RBI was McCann’s 40th of the year.

It was quite a pleasant surprise to see Nova get through six innings only allowing one run against one of baseball’s most potent offenses.

Before exiting, he retired the final seven batters he faced and ended his night allowing one run on four hits while walking three and striking out four. Nova did a great job mixing his pitches as the game progressed. He’s virtually become a two-pitch pitcher but he mixed in a slider to go along with his sinking fastball and curveball and threw Baltimore’s hitters for a twist.

However, Kevin Gausman matched Nova pitch-for-pitch, allowing just two runs over 6.2 innings while striking out six. As the game progressed, Gausman seemingly settled in nicely, retiring 11 in a row before Rob Refsynder reached on an infield single.

Anytime you can hand “No Runs DMC” a lead, it’s been a successful start. Dellin Betances pitched the seventh inning allowing one walk with two strikeouts. Andrew Miller allowed one hit in the eighth but got out of the inning. Aroldis Chapman then came on for the save and allowed one walk but did not run into further trouble. Chapman also hit 105 MPH on the radar gun with one four-seam fastball.

Winning pitcher: Ivan Nova (7-5, 4.92 ERA): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K
Losing pitcher: Kevin Gausman (1-7, 4.05 ERA): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Save: Aroldis Chapman (19)

Notable performances
Carlos Beltran: 3-4, 2B (.303 BA)
Alex Rodriguez: 1-3, HR (9), RBI, R

Article by: James Grande
Follow me @The_Real_Grande
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