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Yankees down Mariners 3-1 behind strong performance from J.A. Happ

J.A. Happ threw five strong innings, Gio Urshela knocked in two runs late, and the bullpen (mostly) shut it down.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Behind a tremendous outing from J.A. Happ, the Yankees won the final contest of this four-game set against the Mariners by a score of 3-1. The bullpen came out strong, as the three-headed monster of Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, and Zack Britton all did their jobs, combing for three no-hit innings. The offense did just enough to make the pitching stand up, including a late rally punctuated by another big hit from Gio Urshela.

The first few innings flew by as Happ started out looking extremely sharp. He mowed down Seattle for 4.2 innings before giving up his first hit. After throwing 94 pitches and walking his first batter to start the sixth inning, manager Aaron Boone made an active decision and called to the bullpen. Happ’s actual exit was rather odd, with the crowd cheering his excellent start while Happ himself barked at the umpire, arguing balls and strikes from his final batter faced

Ottavino came on from there, and after some action on the base paths, he escaped a runners-on-the-corners jam thanks to a beautiful 6-3 double play tailored by Gleyber Torres, who took it himself at second base:

While the Yankee pitching kept Seattle off the board, Seattle’s starter Mike Leake went tit for tat with the Yankee arms, going seven strong innings to keep his team in the game. It was after 105 pitches and just one run allowed that Seattle decided to move on from Leake and replaced him with right-handed reliever Connor Sadzeck.

Sadzeck came in and immediately gave up two hits to DJ LeMahieu and Gary Sanchez before getting an out. Brett Gardner grounded into a force out which nabbed Sanchez at second but moved LeMaieu over to third. After a Clint Frazier strikeout and an intentional walk to Torres, the Yankees had the based juiced with two outs.

Enter Urshela. The man has simply been on fire since joining the Yankees, and that flame did not go out tonight as he took a 99 mph inside fastball out and pushed it down the right field line, driving in two runs to pad the Yankees’ lead:

Urshela can’t help but let a smile sneak onto his face as he, yet again, helped this team in a big way.

After the middle relievers did their jobs silencing Seattle’s bats, Aroldis Chapman came on to close it out in the ninth. Chapman started off by retiring the heart of the order in Mitch Haniger and Edwin Encarnacion. Through a 2-2 count to the next batter, Domingo Santana, Chapman continued to look strong, hitting 100 mph three times. Next, Chapman dealt what he thought would be a surprise slider to Santana to end the game, who deposited the ball in the right-field seats making the game 3-1 in the ninth. However, it was no-harm, no-foul, as Chapman got the next batter Ryon Healy to ground out to second to end the game and the series.

The Yankees start a three-game series on Friday against the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have sat comfortably in first place for a while over the injured Yankees and the slow-starting Red Sox. Now only one and a half games back, the Yankees could change that by Sunday.