For the first time this season, the Yankees have won three consecutive games. I’m not joking. First time all year. Crazy, huh? The Yankees beat the Athletics 8-3 on Friday night and they have now won ten of their last 15 games. I wouldn’t say things are going great just yet, but they’re definitely heading in the right direction. West Coast night games get bullet point recaps, so let’s dive in:
- CC Returns: After 15 days on the DL with a hamstring injury, CC Sabathia returned Friday night and was pretty damn awesome. He allowed a run in the second inning on a walk, a hit batsman, and a single, then settled down to retire 13 of the final 16 batters he faced. Sabathia struck out a season high eight in six innings, allowing just the one run on three singles and a walk. He didn’t show any rust, didn’t run out of gas in the middle innings, nothing. It was like he never left. Sabathia now has a 3.41 ERA (3.19 FIP) on the season. Welcome back, big man.
- Five in the Fourth: It was obvious early on Sonny Gray did not have it. He hasn’t had it all season, really. Gray was behind in the count all night and he struggled to put guys away with two strikes. In the fourth inning, the Yankees finally made him pay. Following an Aaron Hicks walk and Didi Gregorius single, Ronald Torreyes ripped a legit triple over Coco Crisp’s head in center to plate two runs. A wild pitch brought Torreyes home, then Carlos Beltran doubled in two more later in the inning for the 5-1 lead. Been a while since the Yankees had a big inning like that.
- The Non-Big Three: The Yankees had a short bullpen Friday night after the big three relievers each pitched Wednesday and Thursday. The big lead allowed Joe Girardi to go to Kirby Yates and Chasen Shreve to close things out and they made it stress free. Yates did allow a run on a single and a double in the seventh, and Shreve allowed a run on a triple and a ground out in the ninth, but that’s no big deal. Yates threw two innings, Shreve threw one.
- Leftovers: Beltran paced the offense by going 3-for-5 with three doubles. Jacoby Ellsbury (single, two-run triple, walk, catcher’s interference) and Brett Gardner (single, walk) reached base six times in front of him … the 7-8-9 hitters (Hicks, Gregorius, Torreyes) went a combined 6-for-12 with three walks … Mark Teixeira went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and continues to look completely lost from the left side of the plate … Ellsbury’s catcher’s interference was his fifth of the season already. The single-season record is eight by Roberto Kelly with the 1992 Yankees … and finally, this was Sabathia’s 100th win as a Yankee. Pretty cool.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings, and here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. This four-game series continues with the third game Saturday. That’s a 4:05pm ET start. Masahiro Tanaka and rookie lefty Sean Manaea will be the pitching matchup.