Sanchez homers, but Yankees drop series finale on late-inning home run

The New York Yankees blew an early 4-0 first inning lead and Michael Pineda showed his bad side once again as the Bombers dropped the rubber game of the three game series with the Los Angeles Angels 7-5. Andrelton Simmons gave the Angels the lead for good in the seventh with a two-run home run off Ronald Herrera and Parker Bridwell pitched 3 ⅔ innings of relief for Los Angeles.
Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong | AP

The Yanks jumped all over Angels starter Matt Shoemaker in the first. Brett Gardner led off with a single and after Aaron Hicks struckout, Aaron Judge also singled sending Gardner to third. Judge was able to steal second base putting runners on second and third. Matt Holliday just missed a three-run bomb, but settled for a deep sacrifice fly to center putting the Bombers ahead 1-0. After Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch, Gary Sanchez didn’t miss his chance and blasted a three-run dinger to left giving the Yankees a 4-0 first inning lead. It was his 11th homer of the season.

Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong | AP
Pineda got off to a rough start himself in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with one out before getting a huge defensive play from Hicks, who robbed a potential grand slam from Luis Valbuena to keep the Yankees ahead. Valbuena was forced to settle for a sacrifice fly on the play to put the Angels on the board.

After the Yanks failed to score in the top of the second wasting a leadoff triple by Rob Refsnyder, the Angels would continue to hit Pineda in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff single by last night’s hero Eric Young Jr. got it started and Danny Espinosa then drilled a two-run homer to right, his sixth longball of the season. Suddenly, the lead was only 4-3 after two innings.

Pineda continued to struggle in the third inning as well. Albert Pujols, who reached on a single and moved to third on a couple of ground ball outs, scored on a wild pitch by Pineda. The Angels were able to take the lead when Young Jr., yes that guy again, singled home Simmons to make it 5-4 for the Halos. Simmons had walked and advanced to second on the Pineda wild pitch. In no time at all, that 4-0 advantage was history.

The Yankees were able to knock Shoemaker out of the game in the fourth inning thanks to back-to-back singles by Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. New Angels pitcher Parker Bridwell was able to get out of the jam, however, after he got Refsnyder to line into a double play. The threat was over quickly and New York still trailed 5-4.

The Yanks almost tied the game up in the fifth. Judge reached on an error and Holliday followed with a single to put runners on first and second with two outs. Castro then lined a single to left, but Judge was gunned down at the plate by that guy again, Young Jr. He threw a perfect strike to nail Judge easily to keep the Angels ahead by one run.

New York was finally able to tie it up in the top of the sixth inning. Sanchez dribbled one in front of the plate and the ball was thrown away by Bridwell. The bad throw allowed Sanchez to end up on second base. How Sanchez was given a hit on that play is anyone’s guess, but it was considered a single and an error allowing him to move into scoring position. He scored on a single by Chase Headley who had a pretty solid series to even the game at 5-5.

After Ronald Herrera replaced Pineda to start the seventh inning, the Angels grabbed the lead back. The young pitcher got the first two batters he faced, but then surrendered a double to Valbuena followed by the seventh home run of the year by Andrelton Simmons. It made the score 7-5 Angels after seven complete innings. The Bombers were unable to score another run in dropping the final game of the series.
Tomorrow night the Yankees head to Oakland to take on the Athletics to start a four-game series. Jordan Montgomery will pitch for the Bombers, while Sonny Gray will take the hill for Oakland.

Winning Pitcher: Blake Parker (2-2, 2.01 ERA): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Losing Pitcher: Ronald Herrera (0-1, 9.00 ERA): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
Save: David Hernandez (1)

Notables:
Brett Gardner: 2-5, R, K
Aaron Hicks: 2-5, 2B, K
Gary Sanchez: 3-4, HR (11), 3 RBI, 2 R
Chase Headley: 2-4, RBI, K
Michael Pineda: 6.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Article By: Bob Bullock

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