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Yankees 6, Dodgers 3: Bauers powers Yanks to victory despite Cole cramps

Cole left early with cramping, but he didn’t allow a dinger and the Yankees hit four, including two from Bauers.

Jake Bauers hits his first of two homers in tonight’s game.
Jake Bauers hits his first of two homers in tonight’s game.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Yankees reversed their fortunes after a tough loss to the Dodgers last night, defeating LA on relatively low-stress night. They pulled away early thanks to a pair of homers from Jake Bauers off Dodgers starter Michael Grove, despite a career night from the young hurler, and they didn’t look back in a 6-3 win.

Grove came out firing, his fastball velocity up more than two ticks. Before tonight, he’d maxed out at 96 mph this year and 97.5 last season, his only two in the big leagues. He hit 97.6 on just his third fastball of the game and topped out at 98.1. Yet, the Yankees got the scoring started pretty early — in the top of the second, a fly ball off the end of DJ LeMahieu’s bat got past center fielder James Outman thanks to a funky hop, and the little league triple rattled Grove. He hung a 1-1 slider to the next hitter, Bauers, and the lefty made him pay, rocketing a no-doubter 414 feet into the right-field stands:

In general though, Grove’s breaking ball command was solid, and his offspeed stuff played off of his harder four-seamer extremely well. His slider was especially effective, notching eight whiffs and seven called strikes on just 35 tosses. On the night, his seven Ks tied a career-high. But Bauers got to him again in the fourth, this time off of the heater, taking him deep to right-center for another two-run shot:

For the Dodgers’ part, they got one back in the bottom of the second. Cole struggled to command his secondaries early — through two innings, he missed high with his changeup and curve and spotted the slider far too low to be effective:

One awry 0-2 slider in the bottom of the second hit Jason Heyward’s front foot. With two down, the Yankees should have gotten out of the inning on a David Peralta popup with a-97 percent catch probability. Bauers, LeMahieu, and Anthony Volpe all converged on it, but it was dropped just enough in no man’s land that no one could reach it. The hit fell and Heyward came around to score:

The Dodgers threatened again in the fourth, another bloop hit starting this rally off. Will Smith singled on a check swing and Cole pitched around Dodgers home run leader Max Muncy, walking the slugger to give LA runners on first and second with no one out. But then J.D. Martinez flew out, Heyward popped up, and Peralta grounded out to end things. Overall, Cole wasn’t his sharpest, his nine whiffs leaving something to be desired, but he battled through six innings, allowing just the one run on four hits, two walks, and the hit by pitch. Crucially, he avoided allowing a homer for just the second time in his past six starts after not allowing one through his first seven.

As soon as Grove left the game, Aaron Judge provided Cole with some more insurance, cranking a line drive 113.7 mph off the bat that hugged the left-field foul pole for a solo shot. It put the Yankees up 5-1 and Judge in sole possession of second place among the majors’ home run leaders, lifting him out of a tie with Muncy:

When Cole left the game after just 80 pitches due to cramps, the Dodgers greeted the Yankees’ bullpen even more harshly than the Yankees greeted theirs.

Wandy Peralta came in to face what was supposed to be three straight lefties, but the Dodgers pinch-hit for each one of them. Chris Taylor — in for Heyward — led off with a 106.9-mph single, and Miguel Vargas — in for David Peralta — ripped a 103.9-mph scorcher down the left field line that Oswaldo Cabrera, freshly recalled from Triple-A and taking Bauers’ place for defense, fumbled. When all was said and done, Taylor was home and Vargas was standing on third:

After Wandy walked Outman’s pinch-hitter Trayce Thompson, his night was over without a single out to his name. Michael King came in next, and though he yielded an RBI single to his first batter, Miguel Rojas, he lucked out with a couple of liners hit right at infielders next and then a favorable third-strike call to end the inning.

The Dodgers got their leadoff man on base again in the next inning, when Jose Trevino failed to corral a slider that got Max Muncy swinging for strike three. Muncy made it down to first on the dropped third strike and appeared poised to come home when Martinez drove one to deep right in the next at-bat. Judge, racing after it, slammed into the fence, which swung open and brought him out of play, but he miraculously hung on for the out:

Muncy was awarded second base since Judge went out of play, and he took third on a Taylor fly out. Unbothered, King caught Vargas looking to end the inning.

The Yankees weren’t done homering though. Cabrera atoned for his defensive miscue and began to make his case to remain with the big league squad this time around with a solo shot to left in the top of the ninth:

That made the score 6-3, maintaining the save situation for Clay Holmes, who closed the door with a scoreless ninth for his just his second save since April 12th.

The Yankees and Dodgers meet again for the rubber game of the series tomorrow on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. In that one, Domingo Germán will face rookie phenom Bobby Miller, with first pitch set for 7pm Eastern.

Box Score