LOS ANGELES — Anthony Volpe’s two-run homer in the ninth scored for the Dodgers, but the Yankees also needed a small ball to win Sunday’s rubber game, 4-1.
The first inning of the game wouldn’t have been possible without a well-placed Isiah Kiner-Falefa bunt and an inexplicable, lopsided pitch from Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol, who shot to an uncovered first base. The ill-advised call gave the Yankees runners second and third with one out in the seventh, and Jake Bauers then scored on a broken kick from Kyle Higashioka.
JD Martinez retaliated with a solo home run against Domingo German late in the seventh, but the Yankees responded in the eighth with a walk from Anthony Rizzo and a brace from Giancarlo Stanton. The recently demoted and promoted Oswaldo Cabrera then drove the winning run home with a soft ground ball from the first base side of the mound.
“Good job from the base runners there and good job of not hitting too hard by Oswaldo and Higgy,” Aaron Boone joked after the game.
Volpe then gave the Yankees a break, smashing his ninth homer of the season in the final inning of the game.
Volpe had cut just .164/.203/.353 in his last 123 plate appearances on Sunday, but he had two hits in the game.
“That’s a lot,” Volpe said when asked if his multi-shot game helped his confidence. “But at the end of the day, it’s a very, very good team that we’re going to play against. So to take the series the way we did, and just to play the way we did, that’s huge. .
The German, meanwhile, had 6.2 innings, four hits, one earned run, one walk and six strikeouts against the Dodgers in his second start after a sticky suspension. Martinez’s home run was the only run allowed by the Germans, and he troubled the Dodgers with his curveball, change and immaculate drive.
“It’s Domingo. I think I looked up there at one point and he was like three balls and 28 strikes,” Boone said. “He filled the area and was unpredictable. His curve and change was outstanding, but I think he did a good job of staying unpredictable. He occasionally worked the top of the strike zone with all four seams, then moved the lead forward. This is what the command looks like. This is a large order. That’s what you need when you face a formation like the Dodgers. »
German added: “It was my priority to throw the first strike and then expand whenever I needed to.”
He now has a 3.69 ERA in 11 starts this season.
Clay Holmes saved a scoreless frame in relief from the German, while Wandy Peralta took care of the remaining outs.
Dodgers starter Bobby Miller also dealt, as the right-handed rookie gave up just one hit to the Yankees in six scoreless innings. Miller, 24, walked two goals and struck back seven in the third start of his young career.
“He was shooting today,” Boone said. “He was obviously tough on us. I mean, it’s a big arm. I’ve been hearing about him for a while and this arm arrived as advertised.
Despite the efforts of the neophyte, the Yankees still managed to win a decisive game on the road. The win capped a successful trip to the West Coast, as the Yankees went 4-2 to Seattle and Los Angeles.
“Look, it’s obviously tough any time you come all the way out west,” Boone said, “and you’re playing two teams in Seattle and what they’re doing in terms of throwing, and then obviously the Dodgers.”
With the road trip over, the Yankees have a Monday off. The day should produce more information on Aaron Judge (toe) and Nestor Cortes (shoulder), among others, as both are expected to undergo further testing and evaluations in New York.
The judge, who injured his toe while knocking on a door on Saturday, said he expected to have X-rays and/or MRIs done in New York.
When asked if he felt like he had a broken toe, Judge replied, “It’s hard to say. I have never broken a toe. So we’ll see what the tests say. I don’t want to throw anything out there just yet.
The 6-foot-7, 282-pound slugger answered questions while standing and wearing socks and slide sandals. If there was any extra protection or padding under his sock, it was not apparent. The judge wasn’t limping as he walked to his locker.
He also said not playing on Sunday was “preventive”, but he seemed resigned to the possibility of landing on the injured list.
“I really don’t care at this point,” Judge said. “If I’m there, I’m there. I try not to be, but I don’t have an answer yet. I hope today and tomorrow, after a little rest, it will be good to go, hopefully Tuesday. We’re going to take it day by day right now.
Cortes, meanwhile, said “the plan” was for him to miss two or three starts. He hopes his shoulder is just a case of inflammation.
“I’m not really worried,” said Cortes, who has struggled to recover from a few starts. “It’s just a lot of pain. I wasn’t able to bounce back like I wanted between starts. Hopefully everything will be clean tomorrow on the MRI and we can just get ahead and get better.
The Yankees start a three-game series against the White Sox on Tuesday, when Clarke Schmidt is scheduled to pitch. Lucas Giolito will pitch for Chicago.
Schmidt is coming off his best start to the season, as he pitched 5.2 scoreless innings against the Mariners on May 31. The right-hander has allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts.
While Cortes is likely heading to the injured list, the Yankees starter on Wednesday remains up in the air. Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez are two starters on the 40-man roster who have pitched in the majors this season and could line up for Wednesday’s game.
Ex-Yankee Lance Lynn will start for the South Siders on Wednesday, while Mike Clevinger will face Luis Severino on Thursday before the Yankees face the Red Sox this weekend.
This series will mark the Yanks’ first against their division rival this year.