The Yankees dropped the first two games of this three-game set in Oakland, and gave Masahiro Tanaka the ball in order to prevent the sweep. Tanner Roark was on the mound for the A’s, who has been a great trade deadline acquisition and was coming off a quality start against the Astros.
The game did not start the way New York wanted it to, however, as Tanaka got himself into trouble fast. The A’s loaded the bases in the first inning with no one out for Matt Olson. He grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Marcus Semien scored from third. Oakland wasn’t done there. With runners at second and third, Mark Canha singled on a line drive to left. Just like that, the Yankees were down 3-0 with Tanaka at 32 pitches after one.
The A’s tacked on some more two innings later. Robbie Grossman led off the third with triple that banged off the left field wall. Matt Chapman then followed with an RBI single, extending the lead to four. Tanaka almost escaped the inning allowing just one run, but Gleyber Torres airmailed Mike Ford on what would have been an inning-ending double play. That misplay gave Chapman an easy walk home and it was 5-0 Athletics after three.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the fifth. Torres doubled on a sharp line drive to left, then Mike Tauchman drove him home. That run not only made it a 5-1 ballgame, but it also prevented a shutout. The Bombers have gone 211 consecutive games without getting blanked.
Tanaka was done after the sixth. He got tagged for five runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out five. A sloppy Yankee defense could’ve helped him a bit more, but he was able to get his head back in the game after a lousy start.
The Bombers added another run in the top of the seventh when Torres blasted a 410-foot bomb to center. That was his 30th homer of the season, making him just the second Yankee to hit 30-plus home runs at age-22 or younger. The other? Joe DiMaggio. That’s some pretty good company.
That long ball chased Roark out of the game, but he still recorded his third consecutive quality start. He went 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs, seven hits, and struck out seven. You know he pitched well when DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela were both held hitless.
Torres decided he wasn’t done mashing baseballs. With two outs in the ninth, he crushed another homer, this one to right-center field. The 22-year-old is now tied for the most multi-homer games in Yankees history with eight! He finished the game having gone 4-for-4 and a triple short of the cycle.
Second homer of the night for Torres making it 31 on the year. Gleyber becomes the second youngest Yankee to have 30 home runs in a season, behind Joe DiMaggio! pic.twitter.com/icVjjFctvY— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 23, 2019
Despite Torres having a monster game, the Yanks fell short 5-3. They got swept by the A’s in what felt like a lifeless series. They have now lost four games in a row which is something they haven’t done since early April. Things don’t seem to get any easier as they will head to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. James Paxton will start game one for New York; Hyun-Jin Ryu, baseball’s ERA leader, will get the ball for the Dodgers.