Gray outpitches deGrom, leads Yankees over Mets 5-4
NEW YORK (AP) — Sonny Gray and the New York Yankees could walk off with smiles after another win in the Subway Series. Everyone except closer Aroldis Chapman.
Gray outpitched Jacob deGrom, Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez homered, and the Yankees held off the Mets 5-4 Tuesday night to sweep both rivalry games in the Bronx.
“It was a fun game overall,” Gray said after his first victory for the Yanks.
Not so much for Chapman.
Chapman gave up an infield single to pinch-hitter Jose Reyes and a two-run homer by rookie Amed Rosario in the ninth inning, then got two more outs for his 16th save in 20 chances. In his previous appearance, he blew a ninth-inning chance Sunday night and took the loss against AL East-leading Boston.
After throwing his last pitch in this one, Chapman grimaced as he broke to cover first base for the final out and came up hobbling a bit at the end of the play.
Speaking through a translator, Chapman said his hamstring tightened up, but added “it’s nothing to worry about.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said no tests were scheduled. Chapman has given up runs in three straight games, and Girardi said the hard-throwing lefty is probably frustrated and “searching” for answers.
Despite Chapman’s stumble, the Yankees kept the Empire State Building lit up in pinstripes with the win. The Mets will try to change the color scheme to blue and orange when the matchup now shifts to Citi Field for two games beginning Wednesday night.
Gray (7-7) earned his first win in three starts since being traded from Oakland to a playoff contender. He blanked the Mets on four singles until the seventh, when he issued a leadoff walk and rookie Dominic Smith followed with his first major league homer.
Making his Yankee Stadium debut for his new team, Gray left to a nice ovation as reliever Tommy Kahnle was summoned.
“It was a great atmosphere,” Gray said. “The crowd’s into it, the players are into it.”
DeGrom (13-6) gave up more than four earned runs for the first time in 12 starts. The righty exited after Sanchez hit a long sacrifice fly in the eighth, and showed no ill effects from a line drive to the pitching arm that finished his last outing.
“It’s frustrating. You make decent pitches and they get hits on them,” deGrom said. “They just did a good job and beat me.”
DeGrom made his 100th big league appearance, all of them starts for the Mets. He made his debut in 2014 against the Yankees, and the first hit he allowed that night was a double by Ellsbury.
This time, Ellsbury lined a two-run drive into the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead in the fourth.
Sanchez opened the sixth with his 21st homer, topping his total from last year’s rookie season. He connected for the second straight night against the Mets, and has four homers in seven games.
Yankees star Aaron Judge was presented a WWE championship belt by wrestling stars Braun Strowman, Big Cass and Alexa Bliss a couple of hours before the game, in recognition of winning the All-Star Home Run Derby last month in Miami. “Wear it up to the plate tonight,” suggested Yankees fan Cass, a few inches taller than the 6-foot-7 Judge. “I might have to,” the rookie slugger said. Judge returned the favor, giving the trio customized Yankees jerseys. Strowman is on the card Sunday for the popular SummerSlam event in Brooklyn. His father was a heralded slo-pitch softball hitter and the brawny Braun said he’d launched some long home runs, too. “I’ve hit a couple of creatures in my day,” he said.
Judge has struck out in 32 straight games, four off the record for a position player set by Adam Dunn from 2011-2012. Rosario hasn’t walked yet in 14 games, spanning 48 plate appearances. Which rookie will end his string first?
Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (hamstring) will come off the disabled list to start vs. the Yankees on Wednesday night at Citi Field. He was 5-5 with a 6.16 ERA when he was injured in late June. He’ll pitch in place of RHP Seth Lugo, who was put on the 10-day DL with a right shoulder impingement.
Yankees: LHP Jaime Garcia is 1-1 with a 5.82 ERA in two starts for the Yankees. He is a combined 5-8 with a 4.50 ERA this year in 21 starts for Atlanta, Minnesota and New York.
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