The Yankees needed a big win to get back on track after a disappointing start to their series in Chicago. They left it up to their bullpen to get through nine innings of work, and they got the job done.
Chad Green was electric in his fifth appearance as the team’s opener, striking out the side in each of his two innings to begin the game. Green has seen a lot of struggles this season and went through a stint in the minors to figure things out, but he may have found his role working in the early innings of games. It’ll be interesting to see as the starting pitching recovers from injuries if they continue to use Green as an opener, perhaps in front of some CC Sabathia starts.
Nestor Cortes Jr. relieved Green for the third inning, and did some heavy lifting to avoid taxing the ‘pen too hard. Cortes gave the Yankees five innings, giving up six hits and striking out seven batters. He left two runners on when he exited in the eighth inning that eventually scored, but his line still reflects a strong performance that could help turn the series around.
The Yankee offense was stuck in a stupor last night, but they woke up in time to mash Reynaldo Lopez. Gary Sanchez started the scoring in the fourth inning with a two-run double, and two batters later Gleyber Torres launched a two-run homer that put the Bombers up 4-0. Torres tagged Lopez for a fifth run in the sixth inning, lifting a sacrifice fly that scored Sanchez and made it 5-0.
Juan Minaya relieved Lopez in the seventh, and promptly served a solo shot up to Cameron Maybin. The Yankees worked the bases loaded against Minaya, but only scratched home one more on a groundball from Sanchez.
Jonathan Holder managed to make things interesting in the eighth when he came on in relief of Cortes. Holder got the first two batters to go down without incident, but Jose Abreu slapped a single on the ground that DJ LeMahieu couldn’t toss cleanly to second. The lead runner scored to break the shutout, and James McCann launched a three-run blast that brought the game into Aroldis Chapman territory.
The Yankees got an insurance run in the top of the ninth thanks to a bases-loaded walk by Didi Gregorius, but still elected to bring their closer out to secure the victory. Chapman allowed a single to Jose Rendon with one out, but otherwise cruised through the Sox lineup to end the game.
The Yankees ended their three-game skid, swapping places with the Rays to slide back into first place in the division. They can still manage a series split with the White Sox before heading home to face off against those Rays, and we’ll have more on the finale tomorrow.