I have an early doctor’s appt. tomorrow so an early recap of today’s 4th of July game.
First, some All-Star news. Because of an injury, Gleyber Torres was FINALLY selected to the All-Star Game. About time. It was a travesty he was originally left off the team.
Aroldis Chapman blew a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth, but D.J. LeMahieu (MVP!) and Gary Sanchez came through in the top of the 10th as the Yanks (56-29) beat the Rays 8-3.
The win puts the Yanks 7 1/2 games up on Tampa Bay, and it is nine in the loss column. The Yanks have played three less games than the Rays, so three less games in order for the Rays to try to catch them. Boston, depending if they win or lose, will be 11 or 12 out.
The Rays scored a run off of J.A. Happ in the first inning, but Happ, who has been so inconsistent and disappointing this season (ERA over 5), settled in to pitch a good game.
A couple of breaks helped the Yanks score twice in the third. Mike Ford singled, went to second on a PB and scored on a single by Mike Tauchman. Two outs later, Tauchman went to second on a WP and he scored on a double by Aaron Hicks.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a HR (25) in the seventh to make it 3-1 Yanks.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman gave up a walk and double to make it 3-2, then two wild pitches enabled the Rays to tie the game. Chapman was all over the place. He needs better command and control than he showed today.
On the double, Aaron Boone challenged the call at the plate. The runner didn’t appear to touch the plate and should have been called out. The call stood, and a freeze-frame showed by the YES network appeared to show that the runner did miss the plate. Tough break, but it did appear he missed the plate by millimeters.
After the two wild pitches that enabled the Rays to tie the game, two singles and a walk loaded the bases before Chapman finally got out of it with a strikeout. Whew.
The Yanks then scored five in the top of the tenth. Gio Urshela walked. Urshela didn’t start the game, but got there in the middle of the game after an MRI showed no problems from that almost injury he had last night. Aaron Judge PH for Tauchman and walked. Brett Gardner put down a beautiful bunt…so beautiful it wasn’t a sacrifice, but a single that loaded the bases. D.J. LeMahieu (too early to start the MVP chant? Yes, but if he keeps this up… ) got a 2-run single to make it 5-3. After Aaron Hicks struck out, Gary Sanchez hit a bomb (461 ft). for a 3-run HR (24) to make it 8-3.
Luis Cessa came in for what should have been an easy tenth inning. What the heck, he had a five run lead.
But he gave up a run, and David Hale had to come in with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate to close out the 8-4 win.
A little messy from the bullpen trying to close out the game, but a win.
LeMahieu 2 RBI
Sanchez 3-run HR (24)
Encarnacion solo HR (25)
Happ 5 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 W, 5 K. 5.02
Ottavino (H, 21) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 1.88
Kahnle (H, 17) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 3.18
Britton (H, 18) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.43
Chapman (BS, 3; W, 2-1, 1.85) 2 R, 3 H, 2 W, 2 K. 2 WP.
Cessa 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 W, 2 K. 4.75
Hale (S, 2) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.00