Monday, May 6, 2019

Yankees Veteran (CC Earns Historic Win) & Rookie (Estrada Gets 1st HR) Power Yankees Past Mariners

Thairo Estrada reaching the dugout steps after his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees earned a 7-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, as CC Sabathia earned a historic win and rookie Thairo Estrada hit his first career home run.

Sabathia battled through five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks, with five strikeouts.

It was his second win of the season, but the lefty who earned his 3,000th career strikeout last week, keeps making history as it was the 248th win of his career, surpassing Bartolo Colon and Jack Quinn (247) and tying Amos Rusie for 47th place on Baseball's all-time wins list.

Sabathia now has 131 wins as a Yankee, tying him with Allie Reynolds for 10th place in franchise history.

CC Sabathia warming up. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees got to Seattle starter Felix Hernandez immediately, as DJ LeMahieu led off with a ground-rule double, followed by a two-run home run from Luke Voit.

In the second, Brett Gardner launched a homer to the front row in right field to make it 3-0.

Gio Urshela then reached on an error by Seattle third baseman Ryon Healy.

Thairo Estrada was up next, and he launched a homer into the Yankee bullpen in right, the first of his career, to make it 5-0 Yankees.

Thairo Estrada points to the sky as he approaches the plate. Photo by Jason Schott.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of Estrada's big moment, "He's been one of those guys - you know, you can point to a lot of guys that have had a hand in us winning games, and you know, when I think of Thairo - I love the player, I think he's going to be a good player in this league for a long time - you know, I think of him in Anaheim (two weeks ago), us bringing him out to left field in pregame wanting to kind of baptize him by fire out there in left field, and we threw him out there in San Francisco, a tough place to play, he handles it. Everything you throw at him, he's not overwhelmed by it. He's just stepped up for us in a limited role and played a big part for us."

They kept it going when Mike Tauchman doubled and LeMahieu singled him home to make it 6-0.

In the third, Gardner hit one down the right field line and the ball was deflected by an ad flicker, forcing Seattle right fielder Mitch Haniger to run all the way in for it, and he ended up with a triple.
Gardner came in on an RBI single from Urshela to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead.

Sabathia was cruising until the fourth, the second time through Seattle's order after going one over the minimum in the first three innings.

With one out, Edwin Encarnacion drew a walk before Domingo Santana hit a bomb to right field for a two-run homer.

In the fifth, with one out, Dee Gordon hit a solo homer to cut the Yankees' lead to 7-3.
Sabathia then struck out Haniger for the second out before Tim Beckham and Encarnacion singled, followed by a walk to Santana to load the bases.

Jay Bruce, who entered the day tied for the American League lead in home runs with 11, was jammed and hit a cue shot to Voit at first base to end the threat. Bruce went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Boone said of sticking with Sabathia against Bruce, "More honestly, a little bit right before that. I felt like, once we let him go through Santana there, you know, I felt like, with Bruce, we liked the matchup enough, and I felt like he was still throwing the ball okay. The only thing, obviously, his pitch count was getting up, and especially in that inning, so that was a concern and a debate and a debate that we were kind of having but once he got through, and it was Bruce, I just felt like he was throwing the ball well enough and we could win the matchup, and he got it done."

The Yankees turned to Jonathan Holder in the 6th, and he allowed hits to Ryon Healy and Gordon and a walk to Omar Narvaex to load the bases with one out.

That was all for Holder and the Yankees turned to the unhittable Adam Ottavino. The right-hander got Mitch Haniger to hit a shallow fly ball to left, which prevented the runner at third base from coming in, and getting Tim Beckham to ground one to Estrada, who made a spectacular play to nab him at first.

Ottavino, who stayed on to get the first two outs of the seventh, has not allowed a run in his last six appearances since April 22 (7-1/3 innings, and 14 of his 16 appearances this season have been scoreless.

Zack Britton then threw 1-1/3 innings of shutout ball with no walks and a strikeout, and Luis Cessa retired Seattle in order in the ninth and he struck out two.

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