Results tagged ‘ Mike Trout ’

Four homers support shutout work of Tanaka

The Yankees got their West Coast swing off to a rousing start Friday night with a 7-0 walloping of the Angels. Walloping was exactly what the Yankees did as they bashed four home runs off Angels starter Jered Weaver, who like much of the rest of his team is having a miserable season (8-11, 5.47 ERA).

Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a home run, and the Yanks connected three more times in the fifth by Ronald Torreyes, Didi Gregorius and Brian McCann. For Torreyes, it was the first homer of his major-league career. He had quite a night — 4-for-4 with a double, two singles, three runs and two runs batted in. Torreyes was in the lineup at third base because Chase Headley was out with Achilles tendinitis in his left foot.

It was another big night for rookie catcher Gary Sanchez, who had two doubles, a single and a stolen base and is batting .389. He also did a nice job behind the plate handling Masahiro Tanaka, who pitched an absolute gem.

The Japanese righthander scattered five singles over 7 2/3 innings with no walks and nine strikeouts in improving his record to 10-4 with a 3.24 ERA. He left in the eighth with two out and two runners on base. After a walk by Tommy Layne loaded the bases, Adam Warren got a huge out when he caught Mike Trout looking at a third strike.

With Sanchez catching, McCann was the designated hitter and extended his consecutive-game hitting streak on the road to 16 games during which he has batted .338 with six homers and 10 RBI in 65 at-bats.

The Yanks have had the Halos’ number this year in winning all five games between the clubs by a combined score of 36-14 and have out-homered Los Angeles, 13-5.

Yanks salvage finale of 3-4 trip

Years ago when the Angels scheduled 4 p.m. games at home, they liked to start Nolan Ryan. As if trying to hit the strikeout king’s blazing fastball was not hard enough, try doing it when it is twilight time.

The situation bode well for the Yankees Wednesday with the 4 p.m. start at Anaheim because their starting pitcher was Nathan Eovaldi, who grew up in the same home town as Ryan (Alvin, Texas) and throws nearly as hard. In fact, Eovaldi dialed up one of his fastballs in the game all the way to 100 mph.

Yet it was the not the strikeout fest that might have been expected from Eovaldi, who got the winning decision in the Yankees’ 3-1 victory, not because he was overpowering but rather because he had an effective breaking ball and kept Angels hitters off-balance for most of his 5 1/3 innings. The Yankees won three games on the seven-game trip, and Eovaldi (8-2) was the winning pitcher in two of them.

The Yankees had scored only one run in each of their previous three games and had the same total for the first five innings Wednesday before Garrett Jones drove a 0-2 fastball from Matt Shoemaker to right field for his fifth home run. The Yanks filled the bases in the eighth but came away with only one run on a single by Didi Gregorius, but that would be insurance enough thanks to solid work by the bullpen.

After Eovaldi walked two batters to load the bases with one out in the sixth, Chasen Shreve doused the flames by getting Erick Aybar on an infield fly and David Freese on a grounder to Chase Headley, one of eight assists by the third baseman in the game. He also drove in the Yankees’ first run with one of his three hits, a two-out single in the third inning.

Shreve followed with a scoreless sixth before his left-handed partner, Justin Wilson, took over in the eighth. After two quick outs, Wilson was taken deep by Mike Trout, whose 21st homer accounted for Los Angeles’ only run.

Dellin Betances came on at that point for a four-out save (No. 7), although it got dicey in the ninth with two walks. The big guy finished it off with a strikeout of pinch hitter C.J. Cron. The Angels were hitless in 23 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the series, which makes it amazing that they won two of the three games.

The Yankees moved into second place in the American League East by a half-game over the Rays, who were nearly no-hit by the Indians Wednesday night. Tampa Bay travels to New York to face the Yankees in a three-game series over the 4th of July weekend

CC ejected from his 1st Stadium win since 2013

CC Sabathia finally ended his Yankee Stadium drought and was ejected from a game for the first time in nine years all in the same afternoon. It was an altogether pleasant day for the Bombers, who extended their season-high winning streak to six games and completed a three-game sweep of the Angels.

It was the second consecutive series sweep for the Yanks, who took three in a row last week at Seattle. Sabathia said later that he wanted to get his money’s worth in griping with plate umpire Dan Bellino, who tossed the big fella as he came off the mount in the middle of the sixth inning for complaining about balls and strikes calls. Manager Joe Girardi sprung out of the dugout in his pitcher’s defense, and he was soon gone, too.

The Yankees had taken the lead the previous inning with a four-run outburst against lefthander C.J. Wilson (this was a day for initials on the mound) and would go on to a 6-2 victory, the first for Sabathia at the Stadium since Sept. 20, 2013 in an inter-league game against the Giants. In the interim, CC was 0-6 with a 9.42 ERA in 28 2/3 innings in the Bronx. He reached a milestone in the fifth inning with a strikeout of Johnny Giavotella, career No. 2,500 for the lefthander.

Sabathia got off to a shaky start. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols touched him for solo home runs one pitch apart in the first inning. CC settled in nicely after that and kept the Angels scoreless on three hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. Girardi said later that he intended to have Sabathia go back out for the seventh inning, but Bellino had other ideas when CC mouthed off about pitch location. There seemed to be a lot of griping about the umpiring in the whole series. Major League Baseball may want to take a closer look.

Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless inning apiece to get CC back in the victory column at home.

Once again, the long ball came to the Yankees’ rescue. Three more home runs Sunday gave them six in the series and 74 in 57 games. The Yankees have homered in 14 of 16 games with a total of 27 since May 22. They have 15 homers in their past six home games and 38 in 25 games at the Stadium this year.

Jose Pirela, who had doubled and scored on an infield out in the third inning, cracked his first major-league home run in the seventh. Chris Young had tied the score with a solo homer leading off the fifth. Following one-out singles by John Ryan Murphy and Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner drove a 2-0 pitch to right for his fifth jack of the year and a 5-2 Yankees lead. The Yankees are 33-11 when Gardner has homered in his career. Pirela’s maiden shot two innings later was icing.

The six-game winning streak is the Yanks’ longest since a six-gamer July 1-6, 2013. They have won a season-high six straight home games (since 5/25), their longest home winning streak since winning six straight Aug. 20-31, 2013. Their last longer winning streak at home since a seven-gamer Sept. 15-22, 2012. The Yankees’ fifth series sweep this season was their first sweep of the Angels in a series of at least three games since July 29-31, 2003 at Anaheim (3-0) and their first such sweep of the Halos at the Stadium since Aug. 29-31, 1995 (3-0). The Yankees are 11-3 in their past 14 games against Los Angeles.

Just like American Pharoah, Yanks go wire-to-wire

Fresh in the Yankees’ minds was the memory of the Angels turning an 8-1 game into an 8-7 game with a six-run rally in the ninth inning Friday night, so the Yanks broke out of the gate much the same way American Pharoah did a few minutes earlier at Belmont Park in ending a 37-year drought of Triple Crown thoroughbred winners.

The Yankees flat-out mugged Garrett Richards, who failed to make it out of the first inning. They quickly loaded the bases on walks to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez book-ending a single by Chase Headley. American League RBI leader Mark Teixeira got his 44th on a fly ball to center field.

After Richards wild-pitched Headley home, Brian McCann launched a two-run home run to right. The Yankees weren’t finished, either. Carlos Beltran re-started the rally with an infield single against the shift. Didi Gregorius also singled on a flare to center. Center fielder Mike Trout’s throw to third base trying for Beltran hit the runner in the back, which also allowed Gregorius to get to second. First baseman Albert Pujols tried to trap Gregorius off second on a ground ball by Stephen Drew, but shortstop Eric Aybar missed the tag, as the replay showed, which reversed the umpire’s call and loaded the bases for the Yankees.

Richards had a brief reprieve when he struck out Ramon Flores, but Gardner in his second at-bat of the inning lined a single to right field for two more runs, a 6-0 Yankees lead and the end of the line for Richards. The Yankees tagged on another run in the second inning off lefthander Cesar Ramos on successive singles by Teixeira, McCann and Beltran, the last of which was actually hit off another lefthander, Hector Santiago.

Now the question was whether this seven-run lead would hold up without an onslaught similar to the previous game.

Benefiting from all the runs was Adam Warren, who has not had a bevy of run support this year. The righthander retired the Angels in order the first time through the batting order. Aybar was the Halos’ first base runner on an infield single leading off the fourth. Headley made a diving, back-handed grab of a scorching line drive by Trout, which proved an important out because Warren walked the next two batters to load the bases. He got out of the jam by getting David Freese to ground into a double play.

Santiago, normally a starter, brought some order to the Angels’ pitching with 3 2/3 shutout innings in which he allowed two hits and struck out three. Los Angeles got on the board against Warren in the fifth, although the inning could have been uglier after a leadoff double by Matt Joyce and Warren hitting C.J. Cron with a pitch. A sacrifice fly by Johnny Giavotella accounted for the run. Trout got the Angels a second run in the sixth with a home run, his 15th, to right field.

Warren nearly made it through seven innings. A two-out walk in the seventh ended his night, but he evened his record at 4-4 with lefthanders Justin Wilson and Chris Capuano mopping up. The Yankees had only one hit from the third through the seventh but picked up another run on a bases-loaded walk to Teixeira (RBI No. 45) in the eighth.

And this time the visiting ninth was tame, thanks to Capuano’s perfect inning with two strikeouts.

2-for-2 for No. 2 in final All-Star Game

image
MINNEAPOLIS — It did not take Derek Jeter very long to get involved in the 2014 All-Star Game. On the very first play of the game, Jeter made a diving stop of a hard grounder toward the middle by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, but the reigning National League Most Valuable Player beat the throw to first base for a single.

McCutchen never stopped running that inning. He moved up to second base on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Yasiel Puig, who struck out, and stole third base as Troy Tulowitzki struck out. Mac never made it home, however, as Paul Goldschmidt grounded out to third.

The Twins, who have done a magnificent job as host of the All-Star Game, came up with a nice touch by having a tape of the late Yankees public address voice Bob Sheppard announce Jeter as he stepped to the plate as the first American League hitter in the bottom of the first inning. The tape was apparently from the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

The Target Field crowd was generous with its applause and gave Jeter a standing ovation. Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright left his glove and the ball on the rubber and stepped back off the mound in joining his NL teammates in applauding Jeter, who removed his helmet, waved to the crowd and pointed to both dugouts. He motioned to Wainwright to start pitching, but the Cardinals ace remained behind the mound for probably a full minute before taking position.

As play resumed, fans treated the Captain to a “Der-ek Jee-ter” chant familiar to the roll call the bleacher creatures at the Stadium salute him with every night, another cool touch. Jeet got things started for the AL with one of his patented line drives to right field that went into the corner as Jeter legged out a double. The crowd loved it.

And how about that to those who thought Jeter should not have been the AL’s leadoff hitter? One swing, and he was in scoring position. Not bad, eh?

Angels outfielder Mike Trout got Jeter home with the AL’s second extra-base hit of the inning, a triple off the right field wall that the Dodgers’ Yasieal Puig played poorly. After Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano struck out, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera got the AL’s third extra-base hit of the inning, a home run to left field. The score was 3-0, and the Americans had not had a single yet. Perhaps Wainwright should have stayed off the mound.

The National League, which was shut out at Citi Field last year, closed to 3-2 in the second on RBI doubles by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy to end a 15-inning scoreless streak dating to 2012 at Kansas City.

Jeter was a leadoff hitter again in the third inning against Reds righthander Alfredo Simon and got the AL’s first single on another hit to right field. A wild pitch advanced Jeter into scoring position this time, but he was stranded.

Before the start of the fourth inning, AL manager John Farrell of the Red Sox sent White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez onto the field to replace Jeter, who was showered with another round of long applause while the PA system played Frank Sinatra’s version of “New York, New York” that is heard at the end of every Yankees home game.

Jeter again waved to the crowd, pointed to the NL dugout and then shook the hands of every one of his teammates in the AL dugout and urged on by the crowd came onto the field once more to acknowledge their cheers. He left All-Star competition with a .481 career average in 27 at-bats and seemed in place for maybe another game Most Valuable Player Award to match the one he received in 2000 at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

One stumbling block to that was the NL tying the score in the fourth on another RBI double by Lucroy, this time off White Sox lefthander Chris Sale. That opened the door for Trout, who with his second extra-base hit of the game, a double in the fifth, gave the AL the lead and put him in position to be the MVP.

But if the fans here had their choice, I’m sure they would vote for Jeter.

Jeter leading at SS in All-Star voting

Derek Jeter had to skip the All-Star Game last year at Citi Field because he was recovering from left ankle surgery. He may get back to the Midsummer Classic this year at Target Field in Minneapolis.

The first American League All-Start voting results were released Tuesday, and there was the Captain in his usual spot leading all shortstops in the balloting. Jeter had 602,525 votes in taking the lead at his position over the White Sox’ Alexei Ramirez, who had 472,537.

Jeter’s total was the third highest overall in the Al voting behind only outfielders Mike Trout (764,007) of the Angels and Jose Bautista (675,290) of the Blue Jays. The third outfielder in the balloting was the Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury with 417,452. Right behind him was teammate Carlos Beltran, currently on the disabled list, with 401,101.

No other Yankees player is leading at his position, but Brian McCann is the runner-up at catcher behind the Orioles’ Matt Wieters. Alfonso Soriano ranks fourth among designated hitters, Mark Teixeira fifth among first baseman and Brett Gardner 11th among outfielders.

“I would love to see it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Jeter making the All-Star team. “I think he has played extremely well. I know the young man Ramirez has played extremely well. I understand [Jeter] is third overall in votes and that is a great thing. He has meant a ton to this game.”

Jeter, a 13-time All-Star playing in his final season, entered play Tuesday night batting .273 with one home run and 10 RBIs. Ramirez has the stronger numbers at .320, seven homers and 36 RBI.

DJ is going to need the support of Yankees fans to maintain his lead, but as the standing ovations he has received throughout the major leagues on his farewell tour attests he may get plenty of support outside New York as well.

Roberts’ homer comes too late for Kuroda

This was the Hiroki Kuroda we have come to know and love but had not seen much of lately. The Japanese righthander had his best outing of the season Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. It was an absolute shame that he ended up with a no-decision and remains winless on the road for the past 10 months.

On the plus side, the Yankees did win the game, thanks to a home run to right field by Brian Roberts off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri with two out in the top of the ninth inning. Roberts had a strong night at the plate with an RBI single in a two-run fifth inning.

The Yankees gave Kuroda a 3-2 lead in the eighth, and the way he was pitching it looked as if it might hold up. He got the first two outs in the bottom half of that inning but then lost a nine-pitch at-bat to Mike Trout, who smoked a drive halfway up the scoreboard in right field and legged it out for a triple.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi turned to Shawn Kelley at that point to face Albert Pujols. Kelley had hoped to bounce back from his Monday night loss when he walked four batters and gave up three runs. Pujols had other ideas, however, and lined a 3-2 pitch into left-center field for a single that scored Trout with the tying run.

That was the only earned run the Angels got off Kuroda, who gave up five hits, did not walk a batter (he did hit one) and struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings, his longest stint this season. Los Angeles’ two runs in the third were set up by a botched play by the Yankees on a sacrifice bunt.

One of the drawbacks to these over-shift defenses employe more often in recent years is that it can be exposed on bunt plays. Bunts are not as common in the American League because of the designated hitter, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose playing career was with the Dodgers in the National League, likes to rely on small ball.

Roberts was too close to second base to cover first base as Mark Teixeira charged to field a bunt by Colin Cowgill that went to the left side. Tex tried to get back to first as third baseman Yangervis Solarte fielded the ball but could not make it in time and Solarte’s throw sailed past him for an error that put runners on second and third with none out. Both scored on sacrifice flies by Erick Aybar and Trout.

The Yankees finally got to C.J. Wilson in the fifth on successive singles by Solarte, Brett Gardner and Roberts with the second run scoring as Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play. A two-out, RBI single in the eighth by Alfonso Soriano put the Yankees ahead, but Kuroda could not get that third out in the bottom half.

Ironically, the winning decision went to Kelley, who had allowed the tying run. David Robertson wrapped up the victory nicely for his fifth save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

The good news in addition to Roberts’ two big RBI and first home run with the Yankees was the return to form of Kuroda.

A day a young catcher will never forget

Why do fans do it? Is getting a baseball at a game more important than your team getting a crucial out in that game?

The outcome of Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium was put severely at risk by a fan along the first base rail just beyond the dugout who got in the way of first baseman Mark Teixeira trying to catch a foul ball in the ninth inning with one out, a runner at first base while the Yankees were clinging to a one-run lead and none other than Albert Pujols at the plate.

“It’s not what you want to see,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I understand it. People want baseballs, but it’s not want you want to see in your ballpark.”

One pitch later, Mike Trout stole second base, putting the potential tying run in scoring position with Pujols given a second life and adding to the pressure of David Robertson trying to nail down his third save and his first in three weeks since coming off the disabled list.

D-Rob prevailed this time. He retired the latest member of the 500 Home Run Club on a routine fly ball to left field and then back from 3-0 in the count to perennial Yankee killer Howie Kendrick (.352 in 210 career at-bats) and struck him out.

The save by Mariano Rivera’s heir preserved an important victory for the Yankees coming off Friday night’s walloping and a memorable one for two of the team’s younger members. Backup catcher John Ryan Murphy drove in three runs with a clutch, two-run single in the second inning and his first major-league home run, leading off the fifth. It marked the first major-league victory for Dellin Betances, who pitched two shutout innings but was quick to credit the equally impressive relief work by Shawn Kelley, Matt Thoronton and Robertson.

“It makes it easier when you’ve caught someone before,” Murphy said. “I have said it before. When Betances is in the strike zone, he can be unhittable.”

“Collectively, the bullpen did a goof job,” Betances said. “The bullpen on the whole was great. We feed off each other.”

Betances also had nice things to say about his former Triple A Scranton batterymate, Murphy.

“He definitely did the job today,” Betances said. “We played together last year, and he became one of my best friends. He had a great game.”

Those thoughts were echoed by Girardi, a former catcher who well knows that games such as the 4-3 victory are savored by cachers.

“A huge day,” Girardi said about Murphy’s 2-for-3, three-RBI effort and work with starter Vidal Nuno and four relievers. “He did a great job behind the plate. [The home run] is special It’s and even means more because it was a one-run game. He’ll never forget it.”

Murphy impressed the Yankees with his work behind the plate last year as a September call-up and again this spring, but he did not begin the season on the major-league roster as the Yankees kept Francisco Cervelli to support starter Brian McCann. But when Cervelli went on the 60-day disabled list because of a hamstring strain, the call from Yankees came for Murphy over Austin Romine.

“I can’t say whether I was surprised or not because my attitude is that you always have to be ready,” Murphy said.

His two-run single came after a balk by Angels starter Hector Santiago that placed runners on second and third. The situation did not change Murphy’s approach, which was the same when he took Santiago deep off a first-pitch fastball for his home run.

“I want to be aggressive at the plate when I do play,” Murphy said. “The home run ball is going to my mom [Carolina]. I’ll let her decide what to do with it.”

Murphy did get the ball. He was on his way out of the clubhouse to meet the person in the stands who caught it and wanted to return it to him. At least one fan in the stands did the right thing.

Trout breaks out

It did not take Mike Trout long to make up for Friday night. The Angels’ center fielder was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and had one of the few quiet bats in the Halos’ 13-1 victory over the Yankees. First time up Saturday, however, Trout clouted a 1-0 fastball from Vidal Nuno to right field for his sixth home run of the season.

Friday night’s oh-fer was a rarity for Trout against the Yankees. Entering play Saturday, the two-time runner-up for the American League Most Valuable Player Award was a .359 career hitter against them with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 12 RBI in 15 games. He loves hitting at Yankee Stadium, too, where he had hit .375 with five doubles, one home run and six RBI in eight games.

The Yankees keep moving pitchers around. Before Saturday’s game, they optioned Shane Greene to Triple A Scranton and purchased the contract of righthander Chris Leroux, 30, a Montreal native who was 1-2 with a 5.56 ERA over five major-league seasons with the Padres and Pirates.

In addition, pitcher Jose Campos underwent Tommy John surgery Friday at New York Presbyterian Hospital performed by Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician. Campos, a righthander, was the pitcher who accompanied Michael Pineda from Seattle to the Yankees after the 2011 season in the trade for catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi. The Yankees still have hopes that Campos can be a useful pitcher in the future.

Mound woes still troubling Yankees

What kind of night was it Friday for Hiroki Kuroda? Well, put it this way; the Angels had a 5-0 lead in the third inning and Mike Trout had not done anything yet. It turned out that Trout never did do anything. The Halos somehow soared to a 13-1 victory despite Trout going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

That is how awful things went for the Yankees. They held Trout in check and still got clobbered. Remember Brennan Boesch, who was one of the record 56 players used by the Yankees last year? Now with the Angels, he pinch hit for Trout in the eighth inning of the lopsided game. That’s something he can tell his grandchildren some day (not that they will believe him).

Kuroda had trouble keeping the ball down and was hurt more by the bottom of the lineup than the top, at least until the fifth inning when Albert Pujols crushed career home run No. 501 to left field. It was Pujols’ ninth home run this month, which tied the club record for homers in April set by Brian Downing in 1986.

Los Angeles scored three runs in the second inning on singles by Ian Stewart and Erick Aybar, a double off the top of the wall in right by Hank Conger, a suicide squeeze bunt by Collin Cowgill and an infield out. The Angels struck again with two out in the third on a two-run home run by Stewart.

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild visited Kuroda on the mound and likely told him he would need to take one for the team. No one was warming up in a bullpen that was pretty much spent after the recently-completed trip through St. Petersburg and Boston.

Kuroda hung on until the fifth, but the balls kept ringing off Angels bats. One out after Pujols’ bomb, Howie Kendrick doubled to right-center on a hard line drive. Kuroda should have been out of the inning on Aybar’s fly ball into the right field corner, but the usually dependable Carlos Beltran dropped it for a two-base error and a free run.

That ended the night finally for Kuroda, whose line was a bit ugly — 4 2/3 innings, 10 hits, 8 runs (6 earned), 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 wild pitch, 2 home runs. Those untidy figures resulted in his ERA rising to 5.28. The righthander also had another night of non-support from his offense. The Yankees did not score while he was in the game and have had two runs or fewer in 12 of his past 17 starts.

The relatively brief outing by Kuroda added to the staff’s current woes with Ivan Nova gone for the season to Tommy John elbow surgery and Michael Pineda on suspension for another eight days. Their absence has taken lefthander Vidal Nuno and righthander David Phelps out of the bullpen for starting assignments, leaving the relief corps a bit short.

Bruce Billings had to give the Yankees some length Friday night to help keep the pen fresh for the rest of the weekend. Matt Daley and Preston Claiborne, who provided relief help this past week, are ineligible for recall from Triple A Scranton at this time because of the 10-day rule that prohibits minor leaguers from merely being shuttled back and forth.

Billings did his job, although he was taken deep by Aybar and Cowgill in the seventh. The righthander had seven strikeouts in four innings and gave the pen a break. Strangely, manager Joe Girardi brought in Shawn Kelley to get the last out of the ninth, but he gave up a run before doing so.

The Yankees did not get on the board until the sixth against lefthander C.J. Wilson, who had allowed only two singles to Brett Gardner before that inning. Beltran helped build a run to offset the one his error cost by following a one-out single to right by Derek Jeter with a double to left. Alfonso Soriano got the Captain home with a sacrifice fly to center.

Unfortunately, it was the only run of the game for the Yankees, who have been outscored, 110-100, despite holding first place in the American League East.