The visiting New York Yankees will go for a three-game series sweep Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Yankees’ wins in the first two games have come in disparate ways.
They rallied with a four-run ninth Friday in a 7-5 win. On Saturday, they never trailed and practically coasted to a 6-3 win as Yankees pitchers set down the final 19 Pittsburgh batters, holding the Pirates to four hits overall.
New York (76-73) has RBIs from nine players over the first two games of the series.
“We have a pretty complementary lineup. We’re feeding off each other. We’re putting together good (at-bats),” Yankees catcher Austin Wells, who had an RBI double Saturday, told YES Network.
The Yankees have won 14 of their past 19 games overall.
“The focus has been there, preparation,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “Even though we’re not in a great spot (in the standings), we feel like we’re playing for a lot. We want to win. We want to play well. There are young guys with a lot to prove and are getting real opportunities.”
Pittsburgh (69-80) had won three in a row and four of six entering the series.
The Pirates have not only given up 13 runs in the two games against the Yankees — they also have yielded 20 hits and 15 walks.
“We cannot give free baserunners away,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said.
The Yankees — and for that matter, the Pirates — could be playing with some relief after a scary incident Friday. New York reliever Anthony Misiewicz, who left on a cart Friday after taking a comebacker to the head, was released from a hospital Saturday. He was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list.
In the series finale, New York left-hander Carlos Rodon (3-5, 6.14 ERA) is scheduled to start against right-hander Colin Selby (2-1, 8.20).
Rodon had a bounce-back game his last time out. After giving up seven runs and eight hits Sept. 7 in a loss against Detroit in his worst start of the year, he got a win Tuesday against Boston.
He held the Red Sox to one run and four hits in five innings and struck out a season-high nine. He had a shaky start as his first pitch was hit for a home run, but he struck out the side that first inning and went from there.
“Man, I thought he had great stuff,” Boone said. “He got backed into a corner and threw the ball really well. The fastball for the most part was electric and how he wanted it. … He was overpowering in a lot of ways.”
Rodon had been going heavily with his fastball and slider, but that game he threw a season-high 13 curveballs and mixed in a few changeups.
“We just kind of committed to throwing all four pitches,” he said.
Against the Pirates, Rodon is 3-1 with a 3.97 ERA in four career starts.
Selby, a rookie, pitched one hitless inning in Friday’s game and struck out two. He will make his 17th big-league appearance and his fifth start, all as an opener. He has not pitched more than two innings in any outing.
–Field Level Media
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