The Yankees received a good start from Jameson Taillon and key hits from Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres to take their second game in a row from the Detroit Tigers on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
After an uneventful two and a half innings — with the exception of an adventurous error by right fielder Clint Frazier in the top of the first — the Yankees started off the scoring in the bottom of the third. With one out, D.J. LeMahieu drew a walk, and Judge followed with an infield single. Rougned Odor missed an opportunity by popping out to short, but Torres was there to pick his teammates up. With a hole on the right side of the Detroit infield, Gleyber “hit ‘em where they ain’t” with a single into right field, scoring LeMahieu for a 1-0 lead.
After a no doubt about it home run from Detroit’s Jeimer Candelario in the top of the fourth to tie the game at one run apiece, the game’s key sequence came in the top of the fifth inning.
Niko Goodrum led off the fifth with a single for the Tigers. After a Grayson Greiner line out to left field, the Yankees dodged a bullet when Jacoby Jones’ ground ball struck Goodrum on the foot as he started toward third base. Goodrum was called out, and Jones went to first, credited with a single. Taillon then issued back-to-back walks to Robbie Grossman and Willi Castro to load the bases for Miguel Cabrera.
We all know this isn’t the 2013 version of Miggy, but we do know that the bases loaded with two outs in a tie game with the number three hitter at the plate is probably going to be the most crucial situation in the game. When Taillon threw a top of the zone fastball by Cabrera on a 2-2 count, a huge crisis was averted that certainly would have altered how the rest of the game eventually played out.
The Yankees’ offense answered in the bottom of the fifth. LeMahieu led off with a single, stole second base, and advanced to third on a throwing error from Detroit catcher Grayson Greiner. Judge then gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead with a laser double into left-center field, scoring LeMahieu.
The Yankees then extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull started the inning by hitting Aaron Hicks then walking Gary Sanchez, at which point Detroit manager A.J. Hinch decided that was enough, and replaced Turnbull with Jose Cisnero. After a walk to Frazier, Cisnero got a pop out from Brett Gardner then struck out LeMahieu. Judge then came through with a line-drive single into right-center field, scoring two. Not to be outdone, Torres followed an Odor walk with another two-out RBI single, this time scoring two runs. When it was all over, the Yankees led 6-1.
Yankee manager Aaron Boone went to lefty Justin Wilson to start the top of the seventh and any idea the Yankees had of coasting the rest of the way went out the window when Wilson walked the first two batters he faced — the first, number nine hitter Jacoby Jones. After a strikeout and a groundout, Wilson allowed consecutive singles to Jonathan Scoop and Candelario that plated two runs and brought the tying run to the plate. Boone was apparently not in a “let him work out of it” mood and called on Chad Green who restored order with a strikeout to end the inning.
Goodrum made things even more interesting with a home run deep to right field off of Green to lead off the top of the eighth inning to close the gap to 6-4. But Aroldis Chapman came on in the ninth and did Aroldis Chapman things with a one, two, three ninth inning that included two strikeouts.
The Yankees go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with Corey Kluber on the hill.