Results tagged ‘ Jake Odorizzi ’

Yankees suffer flop at the Trop

After winning three consecutive series and going 7-3 against such contenders as the Orioles, Giants and Astros, the Yankees seemed to place themselves in contention as well, particularly since they were spending this weekend at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla, home of the last-place Rays.


That was the sound the Yanks made Friday night as they fell to Tampa Bay, 5-1, failing to take advantage of a Baltimore loss to Toronto, which moved the Blue Jays to a half-game of overtaking the Orioles for first place in the American League East.

The Yankees banged out 10 hits but all were singles, and only one, a two-out knock by Mark Teixeira in the eighth, came with runners in scoring position in nine such at-bats. A bright spot was a pinch-hit single in the ninth by Alex Rodriguez, only his second hit in 24 at-bats since the All-Star break.

A brighter spot was the work of rookie righthander Chad Green, who picked up from starter Ivan Nova in the fifth and pitched the rest of the way. Green’s command occasionally was as shaky as Nova’s (three walks), but he allowed only one hit and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings. Green might actually have been auditioning for a job in the rotation should Nova be dealt before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

Nova (7-6, 4.90 ERA) was in trouble from the get-go. He gave up solo home runs to Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson on inside fastballs in the first inning. The first five hits the Rays had against Nova were for extra bases. Brad Miller tripled and doubled. Evan Longoria added an RBI double.

Green at least kept the Yankees within striking distance, but they failed for the most part to hit in the clutch. The Yanks got two hits in the first inning off eventual winning pitcher Jake Odorizzi (5-5), which is twice as many as they had over seven innings against him back on May 29 at the Trop. That day, Odorizzi took a no-hitter into the seventh only to lose it and the game on a two-run home run by Starlin Castro, the only hit for the Yankees in the game. Ironically, Castro was the only Yankees player in the lineup Friday night who failed to get a hit.

Castro has perfect timing in ruining no-hit bid

Starlin Castro picked an ideal time to break up a no-hitter with a two-run home run Sunday that gave the Yankees a one-run lead. After all, it came in the top of the seventh inning at Tropicana Field. Yankees fans know what that means this season — here come Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman to do their 7-8-9 magic in the late innings.

It was a startling turnaround for the Yankees, who were facing losing the series against Tampa Bay and falling back into last place in the American League East. On top of that, after being smashed, 9-5, Saturday, the Yanks were on the verge of being no-hit Sunday for the first time in 13 years.

Jake Odorizzi was that good.

If not for a change in an umpire’s decision that allowed Dustin Ackley to reach first base on an error by Rays shortstop Brad Miller, Odorizzi still would have had a perfect game going one out into the seventh. As it was, a no-hitter was in place even after he walked Brett Gardner. Then Castro came through with perfect timing. His home run to left-center was the first — and last — Yankees hit of the game, but it gave them a 2-1 lead in the very capable hands of Betances, Miller and Chapman, who teamed up for nine consecutive outs, seven on strikeouts.

Betances retired the side with two strikeouts in the seventh. Miller struck out the side in the eighth. Chapman duplicated Betances’ feat in the ninth for his seventh save. The 2016 back end of the bullpen formula was perfect again and gave the Yankees a lift leaving Florida for Canada and a three-game date in Toronto with the Blue Jays, who took two of three last week at Yankee Stadium.

As seems to be the custom these days, the Yankees were hit with another injury, a jammed right shoulder to Ackley diving back into first base. Ackley had been playing first base in place of regular Mark Teixeira, who has been out with neck stiffness that required a cortisone injection last week.

After Michael Pineda’s disappointing start Saturday that ended a stretch of nine straight six-plus-inning outings by Yankees starters, Nathan Eovaldi got the rotation on another hopeful roll. The righthander allowed one run, six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings and extended his personal winning streak to six games. Over his past seven starts, Eovaldi has pitched to a 2.72 ERA with 35 hits allowed, 12 walks and 35 strikeouts in 43 innings.

Masahiro Tanaka got the weekend off to strong start with seven innings of no-run, two-hit pitching Friday night in a 4-1 victory that featured home runs by Alex Rodriguez (No. 6 and career No. 693) and Carlos Beltran (No. 11 and career No. 403). Beltran raised those numbers to 12 and 404 with his 2,500th career hit Saturday off Matt Moore, the lone highlight in a loss that continued the slide of Pineda, who was battered for six earned runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings as his record fell to 2-6 with a 6.92 ERA.

Eovaldi did a terrific job keeping the Yankees close in a game in which they struggled to get a hit and settled for merely one. But it was good enough for an important ‘W.’

Yankees cannot repeat a miracle finish

No miracle for the Yankees Tuesday night, and they could have used another one to slice into the lead of the Blue Jays, who lost in Atlanta. Instead, the Yankees remained three games back of Toronto in the American League East because they could not complete another ninth-inning comeback at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Once again, they posed a threat with two outs and no one on base in their last licks. This time, the hurdle was higher as the Yankees were down by three runs, not one. That was because of a bloop, two-run single by J.P. Arencibia off Bryan Mitchell in the bottom of the eighth. Right fielder Rico Noel, the rookie who stayed in the game after pinch running for Carlos Beltran in the top of the inning, came oh-so-close to catching the ball with a diving attempt, but it fell free to give Tampa Bay two huge insurance runs.

Dustin Ackley began the Yanks’ comeback attempt with a pinch single, his fourth consecutive hit dating to Sunday. Rays first baseman James Loney was charged with an error for failing to glove a chopper by Jacoby Ellsbury that put runners on second and third with two down.

Brett Gardner, who had started Monday night’s miraculous finale with a two-out walk, had a chance to duplicate Slade Heathcott’s heroics of the night before, but his fly ball to left field was turned into a routine out.

The closest thing to a miracle for the Yankees this time out was the first-inning, opposite-field home run by Alex Rodriguez off Jake Odorizzi. A-Rod’s 32nd home run of the season came on a night it was revealed that he is playing with a bone bruise in his left knee. He also walked in the fourth and scored on Greg Bird’s impressive home run to center that climaxed a 10-pitch at-bat.

Other than that, the Yankees’ offense was as stagnant as it had been for eight innings Monday night when they totaled one hit.

Adam Warren, thrust back into the rotation with the injury to Nathan Eovaldi, made his first start since June 25 at Houston and lasted only four innings as his pitch count soared to 65. Warren gave up four hits in the first inning but only one run. An errant throw by catcher Brian McCann trying to prevent Mikie Mathook from stealing third base in the second inning accounted for the second run off Warren.

The Rays had a miracle of their own in the sixth inning. Nick Franklin, a .133 hitter who entered the game at shortstop after Asdrubal Cabrera strained his knee, trumped Bird by clocking a two-run home run to right off Nick Rumbelow, who had worked out of a jam the previous inning with two key strikeouts but gave up a leadoff single to Logan Forsythe before Franklin’s unlikely bomb.

Forced to empty his bullpen, manager Joe Girardi got quality work from Chasen Shreve and Branden Pinder before Mitchell had his second straight ineffective outing in letting the Rays pull away and leaving the Yankees hoping for another miracle.

Yanks close gap in opener of home(r)stand

The long ball served the Yankees well Friday night as they opened a 10-game homestand with a 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay and narrowed the gap between them and the first-place Blue Jays to a half-game (even in the loss column).

The Yanks had only three hits off Rays starter Jake Odorizzi (6-8) in 6 2/3 innings, but they were all home runs. Brian McCann, who has torched Odorizzi over the years, walked twice and scored on homers by Alex Rodriguez in the second inning and Greg Bird in the seventh. McCann also went deep in the fourth, which raised his career batting average against Odorizzi to .647 with three home runs in 17 at-bats.

Four home runs by the Orioles also helped the Yankees because they came in a 10-2 victory at Toronto.

Considering the way the Yankees ended their previous homestand with losses in five of the last seven games, Friday night was a very pleasant sight to see for the 32,530 in attendance at Yankee Stadium. The offense was not as combustible as it had been on the 5-1 trip to Atlanta and Boston (57 runs in six games), but the Yankees made the most of their few hits. Their only other knock was a scratch single by Brett Gardner in the eighth inning off reliever Enny Romero.

Luis Severino had another solid outing for the Yankees in winning his third straight start. The righthander pitched into the seventh inning and literally scattered seven hits as the Rays stranded eight base runners in his time on the mound (and nine for the game). Tampa Bay was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, the Yankees did not have a single at-bat with runners in scoring position, which is why all those home runs were vital.

The only blip on Severino’s screen was the home run he allowed to Evan Longoria leading off the sixth inning.

“He has really been consistent,” manager Joe Girardi said. “What impressed me was that after the homer he bounced back and got three quick outs.”

Well, not really. Severino got two quick outs before a walk and a hit allowed created another threat, but he closed the inning out with a flourish by striking out Kevin Kiermaier.

Severino lowered his season ERA to 2.04. It is even lower over his past three starts, all victories, at 0.98 with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings.

Andrew Miller came on in the ninth after Adam Warren gave up a run on a single by Kiermaier and a double by J.P. Arenicibia and earned his 30th save.

Not to diminish the loss of All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira, the Yankees’ home run leader (31), but Bird has done an able job filling in, a tall order for a rookie. He is batting .258 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 66 at-bats. The Yankees are actually 10-5 in the games Tex has missed. That is not all Bird’s doing, but he has played a large part.

Tanaka takes a page out of 2014 pre-injury

Any more questions about Masahiro Tanaka? I thought not.

For all the concern about the dip in velocity on his fastball, Tanaka looked Saturday night every bit the pitcher he was last season before he hurt his elbow. Developing a two-seam fastball to take some pressure off his arm from relying so often on four-seam gas has given Tanaka a different dimension. He claims the additional pitch will make him more economic.

The results from his first two starts were mixed, and he was over-analyzed to death by the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew last weekend. Saturday night, however, Tanaka was the pitcher fans of the Yankees have grown to love.

I have to admit that I shook my head when leadoff hitter David DeJesus led off the first inning with a single. Here we go again, I thought, Tanaka is getting more and more hittable. Shows you what I know. He did not allow another base runner until the sixth inning when Brandon Guyer doubled leading to end a stretch of 15 consecutive outs. Guyer never got beyond second base as Tanaka roared back with two strikeouts and a grounder and then added a 1-2-3 seventh.

In between those innings, the Yankees scored seven runs in a 38-minute seventh that turned a pitching duel into a blowout. It was a scoreless game through five as Tanaka battled Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi, who had allowed only one run in his first two starts over 14 2/3 innings.

One batter who gives Odorizzi trouble is Yankees catcher Brian McCann, and he was at it again Saturday night. He singled in each of his first two at-bats and gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead with a two-run triple off the top of the right field fence in the sixth. It was only the fourth career three-base hit for McCann, who is 8-for-13 (.615) with one double, one triple and two home runs off Odorizzi.

After giving up a leadoff single to Chase Headley, Odorizzi came out of the game, and the Yankees went on the attack against the Tampa Bay bullpen. Lefthander C.J. Riefenhauser gave up hits to three left-handed batters — a double by Stephen Drew and singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner — surrounding a sacrifice fly by Gregorio Petit. Gardner’s RBI hit ended Riefenhauser’s outing.

Righthander Grant Balfour fared no better. He gave up a run on a sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira and four more on a grand slam by Chris Young, who started in right field because Carlos Beltran is fighting a severe cold.

The 9-0 victory was a terrific combination of an offensive breakout and a classic Tanaka performance in which he allowed two hits and no walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings and 85 pitches to lower his ERA from 7.00 to 3.94.

The triumph guaranteed the Yankees their first winning series of the season with a chance to complete a sweep Sunday afternoon and get to .500 behind Michael Pineda. That would be a strong springboard heading into a challenging, four-game series at Detroit.