© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
SAN FRANCISCO –– With the help from some timely hitting and a grand slam from catcher Gary Sànchez, the New York Yankees take down the San Francisco Giants by a score of 6-4, with J.A. Happ (1-2) earning the win over Giants starter Derek Holland (1-4).
On a perfect 63° afternoon by the San Francisco Bay, Saturday’s game between the San Francisco Giants and the visiting New York Yankees began as a left-handed pitchers dual between Derek Holland and J.A. Happ.
The visiting Happ pitched a clean first four innings, rarely in any sort of danger, and cruised into the second half of the contest. Holland started well in his own right. Despite an RBI single from DJ LeMahieu that bounced off the glove of an outstretched Evan Longoria in the third inning, Holland managed to hold the Yankees to one run heading into the fifth.
Then the Yankees woke up.
In the top half of the fifth, after Cameron Maybin was walked home with the bases loaded, Yankees star Gary Sànchez blasted a fastball high into left-center field. Giants left-fielder Tyler Austin regrettably turned his back and watched the ball sail 20 rows into the left field bleachers, and the Yankees had a commanding 6-0 lead.
Giants right-hander Trevor Gott came in for relief for the sixth and seventh innings, and while he pitched two clean innings, the Giants could not seem to create any offensive momentum.
Despite two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, a Gerardo Parra line-out ended the inning, and J.A. Happ’s dominant showing was over. Pitching seven innings of shutout baseball, he recorded two strikeouts and allowed five hits.
In the bottom of the eighth, Luis Cessa entered the contest to slam the door, but the Giants proved to still have a bit of life. While he recorded a hitless eighth, a shot of lightning from second baseman Yangervis Solarte made Saturday’s matchup a bit of a ballgame.
With runners on first and third, Solarte skied a ball just over the brick in Levis Landing, narrowing the gap to three with a score of 6-3. Mere moments later, pinch hitter Erik Kratz sent a shot of his own into the bleachers, powering a ball into the left field stands.
All of a sudden it was a ballgame, and fireballer Aroldis Chapman had to come in for the save. The pinch hitting Pablo Sandoval took some mighty hacks, but in the end, a check swing from Sandoval sat him down in four pitches, and the game was over.
J.A. Happ earned his first win of the year, moving him to a 1-2 record on the season, while Giants left-hander Derek Holland is handed the loss, moving him to 1-4 on the season with 5.34 ERA. Aroldis Chapman recorded his fifth save of the year.
The Yankees (16-11) look to sweep the Giants (11-16) in Sunday’s game three matchup, with Domingo Germàn taking the bump for the Yankees, and Dereck Rodriguez pitching for the Giants.