The Yankees slept through the first six innings of this game. Luckily, they were only down one run thanks to a great start by J.A. Happ. It looked like the Bombers were going to waste his performance, but the offense eventually woke up with enough time to make up their one-run deficit and then some. They took the lead in the eighth and never looked back.
This was an uneventful game early, but the good news is that Happ did have a bounce back outing. In fact, this might have been his best start since joining the Yankees! Through 6.1 innings, the southpaw gave up just two hits—a home run off the bat of Stephen Piscotty, and a single to Matt Chapman. He notched five strikeouts and issued just one walk.
The Yankees were in danger of being no-hit through the first five innings. They only had two baserunners up to that point, and both had reached on errors. Finally, with two outs in the sixth, Gleyber Torres singled. He was promptly picked off to end the top half.
The offense finally woke up for good in the seventh. Brett Gardner hit a leadoff single, and the Athletics decided to bring in Jeurys Familia to face Giancarlo Stanton. The outfielder knocked a single of his own, and Andrew McCutchen walked to load the bases. At long last, the Bombers got on the board after Aaron Hicks walked to force in a run. The Yankees had a great opportunity to crack the game wide open with the bases loaded and zero outs. Somewhat predictably, they weren’t able to do so. Instead, Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez struck out, and Neil Walker popped out in foul territory for the final out.
David Robertson took over in the seventh with one runner on, and while he walked Khris Davis, he also recorded three strikeouts to keep the game tied. Luckily, that wasn’t the case for long. Luke Voit took Fernando Rodney deep to start off the eighth inning. That was his third home run in as many days. I’m not sure how long Voit will be able to keep this up, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts. After Torres and McCutchen walked, Hicks knocked an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game.
The Yankees made a defensive substitution in the bottom of the eighth, opting to replace Andujar with Adeiny Hechavarria. In an amusing turn of events, Hechavarria hit a solo shot to left to kick off the ninth inning. Two singles and a walk later, and the Yankees had a 5-1 lead. Zach Britton and Dellin Betances tossed a pair of clean innings to close out the game.
This series will wrap up tomorrow night with Luis Severino set to take on Mike Fiers at 10:05 ET.