Game 24 : Nathan Eovaldi passed one required litmus test of a secure place in a Yankees starting rotation — the ability to perform at Fenway Park and against the Red Sox period. The fireballing right-hander improved his record to 2-0 and lightened the load on the bullpen by taking his start to 2 outs in the 7th.
As Kenny Singleton would say, everyone was invited to the party with at least one base hit, with the exception of Mark Teixeria and Brian McCann, who have each done their part and more during the current run the team is on. Chris Young added a big insurance run in the 9th with a solo blast over the Green Monster.
Granted the rivalry ain’t what it used to be, but it is showing signs of rebirth. Too early in the season to judge, but these teams could be in the mix all the way. It was important for Eovaldi to perform like he did today for a number of reasons. Most promising, he kept a potent lineup under thumb and even with a high pitch count, he lasted one out short of the 8th inning. This was a start for Eovaldi to build on, and kudos to pitching coach Larry Rothschild for doing what he does. Very encouraging!
And another strong collaboration by the bullpen. Chris Martin, Justin Wilson, and Dellin Betances took the torch and locked it down for the final 7 outs, providing a day’s rest for Andrew Miller to boot.
Here’s the box score, full recap, and video highlights.
Yankees 4, Red Sox 2
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- Nathan Eovaldi A strong 6.2 innings outing with a season high 111 pitches — 72 for strikes. Only 2 strikeouts, but only 1 walk, while scattering 7 hits and pitching out of trouble when required.
- Brett Gardner A 3 RBI afternoon, going 2-4, extending his hitting streak to 5 games and raising his BA to .319, behind only Jacoby Ellsbury (.323) for the team lead.
“It doesn’t happen often. I’m not that much of an RBI guy. My job is to get on base, but it’s a testament to the guys in front of me getting on base. [Didi Gregorius] laid down a great bunt for [Jacoby Ellsbury], and Jacoby hit a ball right on the screws right to [Mike Napoli] at first, and I came up with guys on with two outs and was able to get it done.” — Brett Gardner
- Chris Young The versatile outfielder hammered his 6th home run of the season in the top of the 9th, allowing a hair more breathing room for Dellin Betances, who picked up his first save of the 2015 season. Young is right in the mix among American League home run leaders, and tied with Teixeria for the team lead.
TOMORROW / SERIES FINALE : The Yankees go for the series sweep tomorrow (Sunday) night on the ESPN game. Adam Warren gets the nod against Yankee-Killer Joe Kelly. The current New York roster is hitting a whopping collective career .181 against Kelly. Let’s see what Joe’s lineup is tomorrow in the hope to break this ownage. Here’s the preview.