Phelps, Yanks Edge Reds as AL East Race Resumes

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Jacoby Ellsbury 2-Run Homer vs Cincinnati Reds
Jacboy Ellsbury blasts a tie-breaking 2-run homer in the 5th.

 
GAME 95: David Phelps turned in yet another strong outing, leading the Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
The offense was led by Jacoby Ellsbury, whose 2-run dinger in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie. Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann chipped in RBIs, and Derek Jeter continued his hot hitting, going 2-4.

Phelps Streaking

The win evened Phelps’ record a 4-4, and lowered his ERA to 3.87.  He struck out 7 and walked only 1 in a 6.1 inning effort. Dellin Betances struck out 3 of the 5 batters he faced, and David Robertson tossed a scoreless 9th to notch his 24th save.

“Regardless of what the shape of our rotation looks like, I pride myself on being consistent. … When our rotation does take hits, I kind of put it on myself to step up. I’ve been here longer than some of our other guys that have been throwing for us, and the better that I can do, the better it is for our team, the better it is for our staff.” — Winning pitcher David Phelps

Here’s the box score and recap.

David Cone at New Comiskey Park, 1999
David Cone at New Comiskey Park, 1999.

MEMORY LANE: July 18th, 1999 was the date of David Cone‘s prefect game against the Montreal Expos at the old Yankee Stadium. Cone struck out 10 of the 27 batters he faced, and the scoring was provided by a pair of 2-run homers from Ricky Ledée and Derek Jeter. Bernie Williams and Joe Girardi each chipped in RBIs in the 6-0 win. The back story was the perfecto happened on Yogi Berra Day at the Stadium, and Don Larsen — the last Yankees pitcher to throw a perfect game — threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Yogi caught Larsen’s gem in the 1956 World Series. It was the only perfect game in World Series history.
UPDATE: On the 15th anniversary of his perfect game, David Cone was inducted in the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame.
1984: On July 18th, the Yankees traded Roy Smalley to the Chicago White Sox for players to be named later. The  Chicago White Sox sent Doug Drabek and Kevin Hickey  (August 13, 1984) to the Yankees to complete the trade.
1987: Don Mattingly tied Dale Long’s 31-year-old Major League record when he hit a home run for the eighth consecutive game in the Yankees’ 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To Joe Torre (74), and Rudy May (70). May spent the final four years of his career with the Yankees, from 1980-1983. “Joining the Yankees was like a new life. I have never won 20 games or been an All-Star, but now I’ve got a chance to play in a World Series.” — Rudy May.
(Sources: Today In Baseball History, Baseball Almanac)

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