Yankees’ lineup shows just how savage it is to beat Rockies
Aaron Boone wasn’t around for Friday’s series opener against the Rockies, but the Yankees brought their savage lineup to the Bronx again and made easy work of Colorado.
With their manager serving a one-game suspension for his profane tirade directed at home plate umpire Bennett Miller on Thursday, the Yankees got a third-inning grand slam from Edwin Encarnacion, key hits from former Rockies Mike Tauchman and DJ LeMahieu and terrific defense by Tauchman and Aaron Judge in an 8-2 win on a steamy night at the Stadium.
The victory was the Yankees’ fourth straight, as they pulled away late after falling into an early two-run hole against Colorado, which came in having been swept in four games at home by the Giants and had dropped 11 of 13.
J.A. Happ gave up back-to-back two-out singles in the first, but struck out Ian Desmond to get out of the jam.
Happ then allowed a homer to center to Ryan McMahon to start the second, giving the Rockies a 1-0 lead.
The left-hander was coming off consecutive starts in which he didn’t give up a home run — the first time he did that in 18 outings this season.
After Garrett Hampson doubled in Chris Iannetta to make it 2-0, Hampson moved to third with one out when Gleyber Torres dropped a relay throw from Tauchman in left.
But Tauchman bailed out the Yankees when Charlie Blackmon then flied to left and Tauchman nailed Hampson out at the plate with a perfect throw.
Happ was aided by his outfield again in the third, when Judge caught Nolan Arenado too far off second base on Desmond’s single to shallow right. Arenado couldn’t get back to the base before Judge’s throw, which ended the inning.
Kyle Freeland, in his second start back after being sent down to the minors, had been awful in his previous three major league starts — all in Colorado. He allowed 17 earned runs in 11 innings for a 13.91 ERA.
The lefty with a funky delivery kept the Yankees off balance early and retired the first five batters he faced, but it didn’t last long.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the third before Encarnacion got enough on a one-handed swing to line a grand slam into the left-field seats to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead.
Before Happ pitched the fourth, he got a visit from trainer Steve Donohue and fill-in manager Josh Bard. He threw several more warmup pitches and remained in the game, tossing a scoreless inning.
Happ ended up giving up two runs in five innings.
Another clutch hit by LeMahieu padded the Yankees’ lead in the fourth.
Tauchman hit a flare to left that dropped just beyond Arenado. Tauchman hustled to second for a double, which paid off when he scored on LeMahieu’s single through the left side of the infield.
After Adam Ottavino struck out the side against his old team in the top of the sixth, Tauchman provided another run in the bottom of the frame. He followed up his single with a stolen base and moved to third when Iannetta’s throw went into center. Tauchman scored on a dribbler to third by LeMahieu to put the Yankees up, 6-2.
Judge then came up and iced the game with a two-run shot to right-center. His 11th homer of the season made it 8-2.
Near the end of a long night for the Rockies, it was their manager, Bud Black, who was tossed for arguing with home plate umpire Doug Eddings about a called third strike to Iannetta in the ninth.
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