Bats come to life, Cortes sharp in 8-4 Yankees win

Coming into the night on a three-game losing streak, and after dropping eight of their last 11 contests, this game was one the Yankees needed. Fortunately for them, the bats came to life, and the pitching was solid, as New York downed the White Sox, 8-4. The win, coupled with Tampa’s loss, allowed the Yanks to regain their half-game lead in the American League East despite their recent struggles.

Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

Before we get to the action, it’s worth noting that news broke mid-game that the team had pulled off a surprising trade to acquire Edwin Encarnacion. The right-handed hitting slugger leads the American League with 22 home runs and cost the Yankees Juan Then, their 27th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline. Follow along on Twitter @BronxBomberBall for more updates on the trade.

As for what happened on the field, it was a bullpen day on the mound. Chad Green made his fifth appearance of the season as an opener, and looked electric. The 27-year-old fired two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out all six batters that he retired. In 7.2 innings as an opener this year, Green owns a 3.75 ERA with 13 strikeouts. Next up was Nestor Cortes, who continues to excel in a long relief role. The rookie Southpaw navigated through his first five innings of work without giving up a run and striking out seven. Cortes ran into some trouble in the eighth inning, when he served up two singles to begin the frame, but it was a great night for him overall. The 24-year-old was largely an afterthought coming into the season, but has played an important role over the last month with New York’s rotation so depleted. Jonathan Holder relieved Cortes and once again looked rough. He gave up two hits, one of which was a three-run home run, and four runs (two were charged to Cortes) to allow Chicago to cut the lead to 7-4. Holder’s ERA has ballooned to 5.08 after giving up five runs in his last 3.2 innings. The final three outs of the night were recorded by Aroldis Chapman, who, working for the first time since last Sunday, gave up just one hit and touched 101 on his fastball. Yankee pitching had 16 strikeouts on the night in their best performance in over a week.

Offensively, after three scoreless innings to start things off, the Yankees broke the game open in the top of the fourth. Following back-to-back singles by Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez ripped a two-run double down the left field line to put the Yanks on the board. But the Bombers weren’t done just yet. Two batters later, Gleyber Torres cranked a two-run shot to center, his 15th long ball of the season, and New York had a 4-0 lead. Torres tacked another run onto the Yankees’ lead in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly that scored Sanchez. New York’s sixth run of the game came off the bat of Cameron Maybin in the top half of the seventh, his second home run of 2019. The Yanks would score two more runs on the night, one via an RBI ground out by Sanchez, and the other on a bases loaded walk of Didi Gregorius in the ninth. The free pass made the score 8-4, and that would be the final. The offensive standouts were Torres and Sanchez, both of whom drove in three runs on the night. Aside from that, DJ LeMahieu and Gregorius each had two-hit nights. “Sir Didi” is hitting .385 in his first 26 at-bats since returning from injury last weekend in Cleveland. The win moved the Yankees to 2-4 against the White Sox this season and gives them a chance for a series split tomorrow afternoon.

What’s Next?

The fourth, and final, game of this weekend series in Chicago. The probable pitching matchup is James Paxton (3-3, 4.04 ERA) for the Yankees and Odrisamer Despaigne (0-1, 4.50 ERA) for the ChiSox. Paxton comes in having given up nine runs in his last 7.2 innings of work (11.41 ERA) and badly needs to put together an effective start. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 on YES.

Recap by: Jake Graziano


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