The Yankees played great for seven innings, holding a 6-3 lead with six outs to go. Then Joe Girardi pulled an effective Chad Green in favor of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. For the umpteenth time in the last three weeks, the bullpen let a winnable game slip away. The Astros took game two by a score of 7-6.
The story of the night should have been Clint Frazier, who was called up from Triple-A prior to the game. The highly-touted Yankees prospect started in right field and batted ninth. He saw action immediately, catching Astros leadoff hitter George Springer's fly ball in the bottom of the first. Frazier stuck out in his first at-bat, but followed with a lead-off double to right in the sixth for his first MLB hit. He also hit a line-drive home run to lead off the seventh inning, giving the Yankees a 6-5 lead.
Jordan Montgomery pitched very well through four innings, allowing only two baserunners. Neither offense was able to get anything going until the fifth, when the Astros opened the scoring with two runs off of Montgomery. He surrendered a lead-off walk to Marwin Gonzalez and home run to Yuli Gurriel, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.
Montgomery was pulled in the sixth inning after serving up a solo home run to Carlos Correa, followed by a double by Evan Gattis. He threw only 87 pitches on the day. He also gave up three earned runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out four in 5.1 innings.
Chad Green came on in relief of Montgomery, stranding Gattis and preserving the Yankees’ lead. He also blanked the Astros in the seventh. Green looked great today. He struck out three of the five batters he faced, allowing only one hit.
The Yankees got on the board with five runs in the sixth. Frazier's lead-off double was followed by a Brett Gardner single and Jacoby Ellsbury walk to load the bases. Gary Sanchez singled home Frazier for the Yankees' first run. With the bases still loaded, Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam to give the Yankees a 5-2 lead.
Dellin Betances was brought in to start the eighth inning. Joe Girardi should have stuck with Green. Betances issued a one-out walk to Jose Altuve, who promptly stole second and then third. Altuve scored on a groundout by Carlos Correa to make it 6-4. Evan Gattis homered to make it 6-5. Betances then walked Carlos Beltran and Marwin Gonzalez, before being replaced by Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman gave up a two-run double to Yuli Gurriel to give the Astros a 7-6 lead. That was the ballgame. There was a glimmer of hope in the top of the ninth when Gardner hit a two-out single to left. That hope was quickly extinguished when he was thrown out trying to stretch.
Luis Severino is scheduled to face Mike Fiers in the rubber game tomorrow. First pitch is 2:10 PM EDT.