New York Yankees Recap: Teixeira Powers the Bombers to First Series Win
Following an offensive explosion in the second game of the season, the New York Yankees hoped to repeat their success in the rubber match Thursday evening in the Bronx against Mike Fiers and the Houston Astros.
On the mound for the Yankees on Thursday was Nathan Eovaldi, who after a fairly rocky start in 2015, looked to start off 2016 on the right foot. Eovaldi took the Astros 1-2-3 in the first inning and eased through his first two batters in the second inning, consistently hitting 100 mph on the gun and striking them both out. On a 3-1 pitch against Luis Valbuena, he thought he hit strike three and started to walk off, but the home plate umpire disagreed, calling it a ball and allowing the flood gates to open and the at-bat to end with a double to center. This was followed by a two-run homer by Tyler White, and a solo shot by Preston Tucker to give Houston an early 3-0 lead.
The Yankees got one back in the bottom of the second with Mark Teixeira scoring on a sacrifice fly to left by Chase Headley. Starlin Castro continued swinging a hot bat by lining a single off the left field wall, but in trying to leg out a double, was thrown out by Colby Rasmus.
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Eovaldi was able to pitch a perfect top of the third. Didi Gregorius led off the bottom half of the inning with a single and was later driven in on a double by Jacoby Ellsbury, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Astros did not waste any time extending their lead back to three when White drove in two runs with a single to center field following a single and double by Rasmus and Carlos Gomez, respectively, in the top of the fourth.
The Bronx Bombers quickly retaliated in the bottom of the fourth, seeing solo homers by Brian McCann and the red hot Castro, which cut the deficit to 5-4. Castro, who came over in an off-season trade with the Cubs, has homered in back-to-back games and is now 7-for-12 with eight RBI over his first three games in pinstripes. Alex Rodriguez tied the game at five in the fifth inning when he drove in Ellsbury with an RBI single.
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Eovaldi had a rough debut this evening, hanging pitches and serving up back-to-back home runs in a second inning where he threw 38 pitches. Eovaldi ended up giving up five runs in five innings on six hits. He struck out seven batters and walked none. Mike Fiers also gave up five runs in five innings for the Astros.
Teixeira once again showed us how big of an impact he can have as long as he can stay healthy and remain in the lineup. Teixeira broke the 5-5 tie in the seventh with a go-ahead, three-run home run to left field to lift the Yankees to an 8-5 lead and ultimately the win over the Astros. The rally was started on back-to-back singles by Brett Gardner and Rodriguez. Teixeira finished the game 2-for-4.
Another positive note to Thursday evening was Dellin Betances who came in and worked a perfect eighth inning. He tallied two strikeouts and set up Andrew Miller for the save in his first appearance of the season. Miller is pitching through a chip fracture in his right wrist, which he suffered when he was hit by a comeback line drive in spring training. He allowed two hits and struck out three.
The Yankees open up a weekend series on the road tomorrow afternoon in Detroit against the Tigers. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET with Luis Severino scheduled for the Yankees and Jordan Zimmerman for the Tigers.