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New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics: Gerrit Cole vs. JP Sears

The Bombers look to keep the momentum rolling after scoring 13 in last night’s series opener.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Last night was the offensive breakout that felt weeks in the making. The Yankees scored 13 runs without a ball leaving the yard, with nine of those runs being scored by the 7-through-9 batters. Seven Bombers contributed multi-hit efforts and the team ended up with 20 base knocks total. Let’s see if they can parlay the momentum of this offensive outburst into a fifth-straight win.

Gerrit Cole gets the ball to make his league-leading 26th start. He’ll hope to improve upon his last outing, when his struggle with the big inning once again reared its ugly head. That’s now three starts in the last month where he’s ceded at least four runs in an inning and the sixth start in the last three months where he’s given up at least three runs in a frame. He still leads the AL in strikeouts and can move into the lead on the innings leaderboard with a strong start tonight. In 25 starts, Cole is 9-6 with a 3.41 ERA (113 ERA+), 3.20 FIP, and 189 strikeouts in 150.1 innings.

JP Sears faces his old club for the first time since his deadline day trade to the Bay Area. He found instant success upon his arrival in the majors, allowing five runs in 22 innings (2.05 ERA), and has pitched even better since moving to Oakland — three runs in three starts, totaling 15.1 innings. The lefty doesn’t throw with a ton of velocity, instead relying on elite movement of his secondary pitches — second-most horizontal movement vs. average with the changeup, ninth-most vertical movement vs. average with the slider — to get guys out. In 10 appearances (five starts) between New York and Oakland, Sears is 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA (141 ERA+), 3.39 FIP, and 23 strikeouts in 37.1 innings.

DJ LeMahieu replacing Anthony Rizzo at first constitutes the only change to the Yankees lineup. Giancarlo Stanton returned in Big G style last night, lacing a 118 mph bases-loaded single to left as part of a four-run second. Having him and Judge back-to-back at the top of the lineup cures many ills, as do the contributions of guys like Andrew Benintendi, owner of a 154 wRC+ over his last 19 games.

The Athletics make two changes to the lineup that only managed a run in last night’s game until Greg Weissert got a little too excited in his MLB debut. Chad Pinder comes in to play right field, shifting Seth Brown to first base and Stephen Vogt to the bench. Cal Stevenson replaces Skye Bolt in centerfield. Top prospect Shea Langeliers moves up in the order after his three-hit performance last night that included a booming home run in the sixth.

How to watch

Location: Oakland Coliseum — Oakland, CA

First pitch: 9:40 pm ET

TV broadcast: Amazon Prime Video, NBCSCA

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1380

Online stream: MLB.tv

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