Saturday, June 14, 2014

Phelps' Scoreless Start, Early Offense Help Yankees Blowout A's

In his last start on Saturday, Yankees Pitcher David Phelps struggled mightily.

The young right-hander, already on a three-game losing streak, gave up 7 earned runs in just 5.2 innings to the Royals, making many fans doubt he'd be able to do any better in Oakland. 

Well, those fans were clearly proven wrong tonight, as Phelps tossed a scoreless 6.2 frames in a 7-0 New York win.

In the outing, #41, now 2-4 with a 4.32 ERA, surrendered just 2 hits, while impressively retiring the first 10 hitters he faced.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Phelps finally gave up his first knock, a bloop single to left from Derek Norris. 

Besides that, the struggling replacement was nearly perfect, allowing just 5 total base runners.

On the offensive side of things, the bats, for the third time in four days, scored twice in the top of the first, when Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Jacoby Ellsbury (RBI) started the game with singles and Mark Teixeira drove in another with a sacrifice fly.

In their very next at-bat, the Bombers again threatened against the A's Sonny Gray (6 IP, 3 ER), getting a single and a walk from Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson followed by another RBI Single from Gardner.

That 3-0 lead, while not necessarily huge, was more than enough for the Pinstripes in the contest, although they weren't done scoring yet, as they'd again dominate Oakland pitching in the top of the eighth.

In that frame, the Yankees collected four insurance runs off Jeff Francis, thanks largely in part to three two-out hits from the bottom of the order.

First off, with men on the corners, Ichiro Suzuki got Francis to deflect a liner, allowing him to reach with an infield single.

After him, Brian Roberts got another man home with a base hit, with Ichiro also crossing the plate due to a wild throw.

And if things couldn't get any better at that point, the Bombers would additionally collect a run-scoring knock from the before-mentioned Johnson, scoring Roberts.

In other words, everything that could've gone right for the Yanks pretty much did this evening, as they won their fourth consecutive contest despite not recording an extra-base hit.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)