Results tagged ‘ Mike Zunino ’
The day he was notified that he was the American League Player of the Week for the games that ended Sunday night Gary Sanchez went out and campaigned for winning the award again this week. The rookie catcher continued the impressive start to his major league career Monday night, although his performance was not sufficient to prevent the Yankees from dropping a 7-5 decision to the Mariners in a game in which all the runs were the result of home runs, an unusual sight in spacious Safeco Field.
Sanchez cranked two home runs, which made him the first player in club history to total eight dingers in his first 19 major-league games. He connected for a solo home run off Seattle starter Cody Martin with two out in the first inning. Then after Kyle Seager put the Mariners ahead, 3-2, with a three-run home run off Michael Pineda in the fourth inning, Sanchez regained the lead for the Yanks with a two-run bomb over the center field wall in the sixth.
Two batters after Sanchez’s two home runs were a couple of solo shots by Starlin Castro, which marked the first time two Yankees teammates homered twice in the same game since Oct. 3, 2012 by Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson.
Cano now plays second base for the Mariners and had three hits Monday night. He nearly had a 4-for-4 game, but Jacoby Ellsbury robbed Cano of a potential extra-base hit with a dazzling, running catch in right-center in the eighth inning. The next batter, Nelson Cruz, homered to left off Kirby Yates for the seventh round-tripper of the night. On his 32nd home run of the season, Cruz broke his bat and the Yankees’ backs.
They threatened in the ninth against a shaky Edwin Diaz, who walked Brian McCann on four pitches to start the inning, gave up a one-out single to Chase Headley and then balked the potential tying runs into scoring position before recovering to retire pinch hitter Mark Teixeira on a fly ball and Brett Gardner on a grounder.
The key blow came in the bottom of the sixth when Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a quick hook of Pineda after he walked Seager with two out. Pineda had thrown only 82 pitches to that point, but Girardi called on lefthander Tommy Layne to face lefty-swinging Adam Lind, who popped up for the second out.
Girardi then brought in righthander Anthony Swarzak to face righty-swinging Mike Zunino. This did not turn out as well. The Mariners catcher drove a 3-2 slider into the right field seats that as it turned out put Seattle ahead for good.
The Yankees tried to get Sanchez an at-bat in the ninth, but the rally ended two batters before his next turn. He had another solid night back of the plate as well as Sanchez threw out another base runner to end the seventh inning.
The one-big-inning syndrome that has haunted CC Sabathia in the past was evident again Tuesday night, although there was a lot of small ball involved in that big inning, a four-run Seattle fifth that wiped out a 2-0 Yankees lead.
The inning started with a bad omen. Mariners catcher Mike Zunino was originally called out on a play at first base on his grounder to second base but was overturned after a video review that rewarded him with a single. Willie Bloomquist followed with a single to right field that sent Zunino to third base.
Abraham Almonte dropped a bunt to the right side for a hit that loaded the bases. The ball went past charging first baseman Mark Teixeira. Second baseman Brian Roberts was near the bag and could not get to first base in time to take Sabathia’s throw.
CC struck out Stefen Romero, but Robinson Cano hit a soft, one-hopper to Teixeira, who decided against throwing home for a force and got the sure out at first base instead as Zunino scored. The ball responded like a knuckleball, so Tex likely did not have a strong enough grip to chance a throw to the plate.
The other runners also advanced on the play. They scored on a double to right by Corey Hart that gave the Mariners the lead. Justin Smoak made it 4-2 with a single to right. Sabathia hit a batter and allowed a hit in the sixth and needed to be bailed out by Dellin Betances, who stranded the runners.
Cano got brutal treatment from the crowd in his return to Yankee Stadium, but he had the last laugh with a 6-3 Mariners victory. Cano did not get the ball out of the infield in five at-bats. He struck out twice, grounded out to first base twice and had an infield single and a stolen base.
His single began the seventh when the Mariners tacked on two more runs. Consecutive two-out singles by Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and Zunino, who had four hits, accounted for the runs.
The Yankees, who had an early lead against eventual winning pitcher Chris Young on Teixeira’s third home run and a throwing error by Zunino, rallied in the ninth against Fernando Rodney but scored only one run on a single by Ichiro Suzuki, a double by Roberts and an infield single by Brett Gardner.
Yankees pitchers totaled 12 strikeouts. It marked the fifth straight game they achieved double figures in strikeouts, a franchise record.