Five Yankee Home Runs Produce a 7-1 Victory over the Pirates
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MAY 18- Not since October 10, 1960, in the fifth game of that ill-fated World Series for New York have the Pittsburgh Pirates won a game at Yankee Stadium. The two teams have not again met in the World Series, but have competed against one another in interleague play.
The Yanks won all three games in the Bronx in 2005. The Pirates lost all three meetings at Yankee Stadium again in 2007. The Pirates returned to the Bronx this weekend and played at the new Stadium for the first time on Saturday afternoon. The 7-1 win by the Yankees was the seventh loss in a row by the Pirates in the Bronx.
The difference was the home run ball. All seven Yankee runs were scored via the home run and the Pirates only run also came by a four bagger. It was the first game in more than one year, April 29, 2013, that five different Yankee players hit home runs in the same game.
The Yankee offense began in the first frame as Derek Jeter singled to center with one out. The base hit was #3,350 for the Yankee captain. He now needs only 70 to pass Carl Yastrzemski for 7th place in MLB career rankings. The next batter, Mark Teixeira knocked in the first two runs of the game with his ninth homer of the season. It was the eighth in the last 17 games for the hot hitter. After the game, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi happily remarked, “It’s great having him back.”
Two innings later, Zoilo Almonte became the first of three Yankee batters to lead-off an inning with a home run. In his second game and second at bat of the year, the native of the Dominican Republic hit the first pitch he saw into the stands in right.
Brett Gardner began the Yankee sixth with his third homer of 2014. Alfonso Soriano led-off the seventh with a home run on a 1-1 pitch.
In the final go-around at the plate for the Yankees in the eighth, catcher Brian McCann hit a two-out homer with Gardner on base by a walk.
After the game, Teixeira, who started the home run attack, commented, “It’s good to see us break out today."
Girardi explained a baseball truism to reporters, so they could better understand the success of the team at home, “Our team is built for this park. You know you’re going to play 81 games here.”
The lead-off home run by Sterling Marte off reliever Dellin Betances in the sixth is the only run given up by Yankee pitchers in the last 27 innings.
With three of the Yankees five starting pitchers on the disabled list, Nova, Pineda and Sabathia, David Phelps was assigned his third start of the season, all in May. Phelps had a strange start but earned the win. In the first three innings, he didn’t surrender a hit, but walked three and hit a batsman. He gave up three hits in the fourth and two in the fifth, but no one crossed the plate.
The righty spoke about his performance. “It’s a really weird game when you throw 100 pitches in five innings and don’t give up a run. Mac [catcher Brian McCann] did a great job today keeping me in his glove.”
Girardi spoke more positively of the starter, “He made pitches when he had to. Our defense played pretty well behind him. We got him up to 100 pitches [his longest outing of the season]. We know he’ll continue to improve.”
The Yankees and Pirates will play a doubleheader on Sunday, starting at 1 pm. It is the first single admission doubleheader to be played at Yankee Stadium since September 29, 2004.