Chief and Pickles' efforts lead the Yankees past the Mariners 6-3
The Yankees won Greg Bird’s return game on the back of Sonny Gray and Jacoby Ellsbury. Sonny Gray threw seven innings of one run baseball, and Jacoby Ellsbury had four RBI’s including a three-run home run. Late defensive blunders led the Mariners to make the game close at the end, but the Yankees provided enough runs for a 6-3 victory in the Bronx.
|Photo Credit: Adam Hunger | AP|
Sonny Gray looked frustrated early on with the strike-zone as he was visibly upset after walking Yonder Alonso in the first inning. That would be the only blemish for Gray, striking out Kyle Seager (Corey’s brother) to end the inning.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a single to centerfield. A wild pitch moved Gardy to second with Aaron Judge up in the two-hole. Judge just got under a 3-2 fastball and flew out to centerfield, stretching the Yankees to 0 for their last 13 with runners in scoring position. Gary Sanchez went down on strikes, and Didi popped out to shortstop. The Yankees struggles with RISP is very concerning, and they’ll need to have smarter at-bats, if they want to contend for a playoff spot.
Greg Bird’s first at-bat off the DL came in the second inning with Castro on first base. Like Castro, he would draw a walk. Chase Headley bunted to move Castro and Bird into scoring position. That would bring the greatest free agent signing of all time to the dish with two on and one out. Ellsbury would come through with a line drive to left field to score Castro, as Bird got tagged out at the plate. However, the Yankees 0-for with RISP was snapped at 15 at-bats.
The lead wouldn’t last long as Carlos Ruiz deposited a high fastball into the left field seats to tie the game at one in the third inning.
Greg Bird would join the finger gun party with a single in his second at bat. He worked a 3-2 count in both at bats. After a Headley walk, Ellsbury would come up big once again for the Yankees. A three-run shot to the short porch in right field put the Yankees up 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Ellsbury? Yes… Ellsbury!
Sonny Gray would find his groove and go seven very strong innings. He would only allow three hits and leave the game in line for the victory.
|Photo Credit: Adam Hunger | AP|
In the bottom half of the seventh, Romine would reach on a miscue by Ben Gamel on a pop up in the sun, and Gardner singled to put two men on with nobody out. Judge followed that with a strikeout and El Gary popped out to shallow left field. Didi walked to load the bases for Starlin Castro, making his second start off the DL. He would pick up the RISP slack with a two-run single on a jam shot liner to left field. With a 6-1 lead and another Bird walk, the bases were loaded for Chase Headley. He would fly out to left field to end the bottom half.
Chasen Shreve came on in relief for Sonny Gray in the eighth inning. A leadoff double and a very bad throwing error by Chase Headley on a Nelson Cruz ground ball would allow the Mariners to threaten. A line drive to Starlin Castro’s left, that could have and should have been caught, scored a run and kept the M’s no-out rally going. That would take Shreve out of the game, as a struggling Tommy Kahnle came on to stop the bleeding. A huge strikeout of Mitch Haniger and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Yankee great Ben Gamel were the first two outs of the inning. After an RBI single from Guillermo Heredia, Robinson Cano came on to pinch hit for Taylor Motter and was greeted by loud boos from Yankee fans. As the tying run, Cano grounded out to Castro and Kahnle escaped further damage.
Frazier came on in the ninth to play third as a defensive replacement for Chase Headley, and Dellin Betances came on for the save. He was nothing less than dominant, as the Yankees locked this one up by a final score of 6-3.
The rubber match of this three-game series will be at 1:05 PM EST tomorrow. It will be Tanaka time in the Bronx as the Yankees will send "Masa" to face southpaw Andrew Albers of the Mariners.
Winning Pitcher: Sonny Gray (8-8, 3.26 ERA): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR
Losing Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo (5-10, 5.78 ERA): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Save: Dellin Betances (10)
Sonny Gray: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR
Jacoby Ellsbury: 2-4, 4 RBI (31), 1 R, HR (7)
Brett Gardner: 3-4, R, BB
Starlin Castro: 1-3, 2 RBI (47), 1 BB
Greg Bird: 1-2, R, 2 BB
Carlos Ruiz: 2-4, 1 RBI (10), HR (2)
Guillermo Heredia: 1-4, RBI (24)
Article by: Noah ClementFollow @Rocky_BalNoah