Sunday, May 15, 2016

Beltran Hits 400th, Leads Yankees to 7-5 Victory

     On an overcast day in the Bronx, the Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka Took on the Chicago White Sox trying to take the series in a game three win this afternoon. Chicago countered with right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, whom they acquired after he was dropped by the Baltimore orioles at the end of spring training. All of the luck seemed to be in the Yankees favor coming into the game, especially considering when anyone other than Sale, Quintana or Latos is pitching for the White Sox, the team has gone 4-10 so far this season. Not to mention, the Yankees have plenty of experience against Gonzalez because he pitched for the division rival Orioles for the last four seasons.  But neither pitcher could find enough control to contain their counterparts in this back and forth contest.
     The Yankees kicked the scoring off in the bottom of the first when Gonzalez allowed back to back singles to Elsbury and Gardner, with the latter moving Elsbury from first to third. Carlos Beltran then hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Elsbury, giving the Yankees a one run lead. In the top of the second, Tanaka walked back to back hitters, Cabrera and Lawrie, with one out. The next batter Avisail Garcia lined a single into left, scoring Cabrera and tying the game at one. They would take the lead in the top of the third when Adam Eaton launched a solo shot off Tanaka into the right field bullpen.
     The Yankees did not take long to get the lead back for their ace who just did not have his good stuff today. After allowing a one out single to Brett Gardner, Gonzalez walked Beltran and Teixeira on eight street pitches, loading the bases for New York. Gonzalez got McCann to pop out to the catcher in his first pitch of the at bat, but served up an infield single to Starlin Castro that tied the game at two and kept the bases loaded. And then Gonzalez walked Dustin Ackley that forced in the go ahead run, 3-2 Yankees.
      The White Sox, however, would be quick to strike back and once again take the lead. In the top of the fourth, Tanaka lead off the inning by serving up a single to Garcia, who stole second and advanced to third on a Single by back up shortstop Tyler Saladino. Adam Eaton, the same guy who took Tanaka deep earlier in the game, laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt down the first baseline that scored Garcia from third tying the game at three. The next batter, former Yankee Austin Jackson, lined a single to center that scored Saladino and gave the White Sox a one run lead, 4-3. Tanaka would give way to the bullpen in the top of the sixth, leaving with a not so impressive final line of five innings pitched, eight hits, for earned runs, three walks and seven punch outs.
     Yankee fans got to witness a bit of history this afternoon as the Yankees made their come back on Chicago. In the bottom of the sixth inning, after Jacoby Elsbury reached base on a throwing error, Carlos Beltran hit his 400th career homerun off of white socks reliever Zach Duke. Joining the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Beltran hit his his stork homerun in his home ballpark that gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead.
     The first member of "No-Run DMC" Delin Betances would allow the tying run to score in the top of the seventh, but would impressively get out of the inning with the score tied. After allowing back to back singles to Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, the 6'8" right-hander served up a double to Melky Cabrera that tied the game, scoring Abreu. leaving runners on second and third with no outs. The big man proceeded to get second baseman Brett Lawrie to ground out weakly, forcing both runners to stay put. And then, Betances struck out the next two batters, Avisail Garcia and Alex Avila, leaving the score knotted up at five.
     As I stated earlier this week, Chase Headley seems to be heating up and came through in a big way this afternoon. After Didi Gregorius Drew a walk off of newly inserted reliever Matt Albers, Headley got the call to pinch-hit for Ronald Torreyes. The 32- year old delivered with a two out double to center field, driving in Gregorius and giving the Yankees a 6-5 lead. The Pinstripers would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Brian McCann launched a solo homerun deep into the right field seats.
     The other two thirds of the three headed monster cruised through the final two innings. Miller was phenomenal in his work in the top of the eighth, striking out two in route to a perfect inning. The closer Chapman was also perfect in his one inning of work as he closed the door on this afternoon's game and sealed the Yankees third straight series victory.
     Tomorrow, the Yankees travel to Arizona for a series with the newly-refurbished Arizona Diamondbacks, with first pitch at 9:40 PM ET.

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