The Yankees entered this contest with a chance to sweep the three-game series. Instead, the offense no-showed and New York suffered its third shutout in 17 games. The Yankees fell to the Phillies 3-0 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Making a spot start, Luis Cessa pitched into trouble immediately in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez got ahead 3-1, then reached on a perfectly placed bunt against the infield shift. Rhys Hoskins lined a single to left field, giving Philadelphia runners on first and second with nobody out. Cessa induced Odubel Herrera to pop out, but then walked Carlos Santana to load the bases. The right-hander pitched out of the jam when he struck out Aaron Altherr looking and Scott Kingery swinging.
Cessa wasn’t so fortunate in the second inning. Jorge Alfaro reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cessa fell behind Cesar Hernandez 3-0, before walking him on five pitches. Hoskins then hammered a hanging slider into the right field seats to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead.
Phillies hitters made hard contact against Cessa throughout his brief outing, but he was bailed out by superb defense in the third. Gardner made a leaping, running catch to rob Santana of an extra-base hit. Gardy banged into the wall, fell down, and managed to hang onto the ball. The next batter, Altherr, launched a fly down the right field line. Stanton made the running catch at a full sprint in the corner. Neither ball was headed over the fence, but they would have been back-to-back run-scoring doubles at the least.
After needing 74 pitches to complete three frames, Cessa was replaced by Giovanny Gallegos. The 26-year-old righty was impressive, striking out the first four batteres he faced. Gallegos pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits, no walks, and notching six strikeouts. Jonathan Holder and Domingo German came on and kept Philadelphia off the board in the seventh and eighth. It was another great performance by the Yankees bullpen.
The Yankees got nothing going offensively at all tonight. They managed only four hits and two walks off of Phillies starter Zach Eflin, while moving only one runner into scoring position. Miguel Andujar lined a one-out single in the second inning and moved up when Kyle Higashioka walked, but Gallegos struck out to end the threat. Didi Gregorius led off the fourth with a groundball single up the middle. He was left stranded when Gleyber Torres struck out, Andujar lined out, and Neil Walker lined out on a hot shot to a perfectly positioned Santana on the first-base line. New York went down in order in the eighth and ninth against the Phillies bullpen.
With the loss, the Yankees fall to 52-26. Depending on the outcome of the Angels-Red Sox game, the Yankees will either maintain their one-half game lead in the AL East race, or be behind by the same margin.
The Yankees conclude their road trip with a 2-4 mark. Following a day off tomorrow, the Bombers continue their chase for 28 on Friday when they begin a three-game series against the Red Sox in the Bronx. CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.18 ERA) faces off against Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2, 3.86 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM EDT.