Nathan Eovaldi has, not undeservedly, gotten some criticism for his season thus far. But for the second straight start, he managed to hold down a potent opposing offense. This time it was the Angels. Eovaldi pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, before turning it over to the bullpen. The pen chipped in with 3.2 more solid innings and the Yankees came away with a 3-1 win over the Angels.
The Yankees picked up the first run of the game in the top of the third. Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a single. He was able to advance all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stephen Drew and a ground out by Brett Gardner. Chase Headley then brought him home with a single.
The game turned into a pitcher's duel for a while after that. That's not to say the teams didn't have chances to add more runs, it's just that they both squandered them/the pitchers were doing a decent job escaping jams. It wasn't until the sixth inning that another run was scored. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Garrett Jones hit a solo home run, extending the Yankees' lead to two runs.
Eovaldi had done a good job of getting out of the couple jams he had gotten into with some timely double plays. But in the sixth he got himself into another. He allowed a lead-off single to Johnny Giovotella. After getting Kole Calhoun to strike out, he walked both Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, chasing him from the game. Eovaldi went 5.1 innings, allowing no runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three.
Chasen Shreve was brought in to try and escape the jam. He first had to face Erick Aybar, who he got to pop up for the second out of the inning. Next up was David Freese. Freese hit one pretty sharply to third. Headley made a decent play to field the ball, but his throw was heart attack-inducing. Thankfully, Mark Teixeira made a nice scoop on the throw and Freese was retired for the third out of the inning.
After Shreve got out of that jam, he pitched an easy 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. And following that, the Yankees got some insurance. With one out in the top of the eighth, Brian McCann singled. A walk by Jones and a single from Chris Young loaded the bases with still just one out. Gregorius would drop a single in, scoring McCann and making it 3-0.
Justin Wilson came in to pitch the eighth and got two easy outs, bringing Trout to the plate. Trout would get the Angels on the board with a solo home run. Not idea, but no real shame in that. That cut the Yankees' lead to two runs and sent Girardi out of the dugout to bring in Dellin Betances. Betances got Pujols to ground out, sending us to the ninth inning with the Yankees up 3-1.
The Yankees couldn't add to their lead in the top of the ninth and Betances was sent back out for the bottom half. The inning got off to an inauspicious start when Aybar walked and stole second. Dellin got the next two outs, but then walked Chris Iannetta, bringing the potential winning run for the Angels to the plate. That potential run came to the plate in the form of C.J. Cron. Betances quickly got ahead in the count and got Cron to strikeout to end the game. That sealed a 3-1 win for the Yankees as they avoided a sweep in LA.
Tomorrow is an off-day for the Yankees as they travel home for a series against the Rays starting Friday.