The Yankees got the job done and swept the A’s with a 5-3 comeback victory in the series finale this afternoon. The ballclub’s 56th win came behind a feisty performance from Jameson Taillon, a couple of timely home runs from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and another clean day for the ‘pen.
In a dream season for the starting rotation, regardless of who’s taking the ball each day, every Yankees fan expects a quality start — not necessarily by definition, but a fine one nonetheless. When a Yankee starter is coming off a poor outing, and is set to face one of the weaker offenses in the American League, that expectation only increases.
Unfortunately for Taillon, the troubles of his last start at home against Houston followed him into this matinee affair with Oakland. The former Pirate pitched through traffic for the entire day and got touched up for three runs in the first on RBI knocks from Stephen Piscotty and Elvis Andrus.
Through three innings, Taillon had already faced the whole A’s lineup twice, with five hits allowed and a couple of walks. The right-hander did, however, show poise after that three-spot in the first inning, as he stranded five runners over the following two frames, including back-to-back strikeouts of Ramón Laureano and Stephen Vogt with the bases loaded in the second.
Much like they did for Taillon in the Thursday game against the Astros, the Yankees’ offense picked up their starter. The only difference was that this time, they didn’t wait nearly as long to do it.
In the home half of the first, Judge countered Oakland’s early scoring by crushing his 29th homer of the year well up into the left-field bleachers.
The 429-foot blast cut the A’s lead to 3-2.
Josh Donaldson gave one a ride with a couple of runners on in the bottom of the third, but the Yankees weren’t deterred by the 362-foot fly out. The following batter happened to be Giancarlo Stanton, and the big guy took A’s lefty Cole Irvin deep for a three-run shot and a 5-3 lead.
With that impressive display of opposite-field power, Stanton tied Lance Berkman for 83rd all-time with his 366th career homer. It was his 19th of the season.
Judge and Stanton’s two long balls were also homer Nos. 56 and 57 for the Yankees this month. The Stanton bomb gave the team the all-time record for dingers in June, surpassing the 2016 Orioles and 2019 Braves.
After struggling to get through the first three innings, on an afternoon in which his durability in the game was constantly in question, Taillon managed to settle in and complete five strong without giving up any further runs. His ability to get whiffs in this game really saved him in multiple spots. The Yankees starter left the mound with six punchouts and 14 swings-and-misses on the day.
Lucas Luetge followed Taillon with a couple of clean innings, needing only 29 pitches, and Miguel Castro pitched around a couple of hits for a scoreless eighth. Finally, Clay Holmes shut things down for the save in the ninth.
Chalk up another four scoreless innings of work for the brilliant Yankees ‘pen.
This game followed the same pattern as the entire series. Although the Yankees beat the A’s as expected, they had to come from behind following a not-so-crisp outing from their starter — just like on Monday. They were able to get away with it because they were playing the A’s, but the ballclub will need to up its game with better competition on the horizon. Still, the Yankees deserve full credit for taking care of business; they were facing the worst team in baseball at home and swept them away.
New York now sits a season-best 56-20, which gives them quite a bit of wiggle room (to say the least). Next up, they’ll travel to Houston for a single game against the Astros before heading to Cleveland for a weekend series versus the Guardians.