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Gil Yeah, Rookie Keeps Yanks Rolling

by Ohio Digital News

When Gerrit Cole went down in spring training, the task at hand for the Yankees was to navigate the early part of the season until he returned. They never expected a rookie pitcher to not only pick up the slack, but pitch just like the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.

Luis Gil continued to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the season as he tossed six scoreless innings to lead the Yankees to their sixth straight win, 5-1 over the Minnesota Twins before 37,139 fans at Yankee Stadium last night.

Yankees (43-19) have won 23 of their last 29, are 19-8 at home and they lead the AL East by 2½ games over the Orioles who continue to hang tough in the division.

Gil gave up one hit, walked three and struck out six as he won his 7th straight start to improve to 8-1 on the season and lower his remarkable ERA to 1.82. It was the third time in Gil’s last six starts that he’s pitched at least six innings and given up only one hit and the Yankees are now 10-2 in his 12 starts this season.

Gil’s confidence has grown with every start. “The experience that I’ve been gaining little by little, pitching in this league and facing these good teams,” Gil said throught an interpreter. “Definitely it’s a plus and at the end of the day I’m trying to keep things simple, I’m trying to execute strikes.”

Gil picked up where he left off in May after being named the American League rookie and pitcher of the month. Opponents are hitting .127 against Gil, whose electric stuff has made Major League hitters look futile.

Manager Aaron Boone remembered a moment in spring training when he thought he had something special in the just turned 26-year old right hander. “He [Gil] came in and just dominated the Phillies’ lineup in Clearwater,” Boone said. “It was like smack you in the face, like look at this and then he followed it up his next time up against Toronto in Tampa and just hasn’t stopped.”

Gleyber Torres’ patented Yankee Stadium home run off of losing pitcher Bailey Ober gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Torres drove the first pitch from the Twins right hander into the first row of the right center field seats for his fifth home run of the season.

Twins right fielder Max Kepler made a nice attempt to catch the ball but it went in the stands and survived a review. “I was 50-50 when I see Kepler jumping,” Torres said. “I was a little scared when the ball go out. I feel happy for a second but I feel good when the review was clear.”

Aaron Judge continued to rake as he stroked a two run double in the third to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. D.J. LeMahieu, who was making his Stadium debut this season, walked to lead off the inning. Anthony Volpe, who extended his on base streak to 30 consecutive games, singled to right to put runners on first and second. After Juan Soto fouled out to third, Judge blooped a 2-2 pitch down the right field line for a double that scored LeMahieu and Volpe.

Judge, who was named Player of the Month for May, had two hits and 2 runs batted in and has raised his average from .174 on April 22nd to .293. In his past 35 games, Judge is batting .388, with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 36 RBIs and also possesses a 30-game on base streak. 

In the eighth, Giancarlo Stanton clubbed his 15th home run, a two run shot into the second deck in left field off of Twins’ reliever Caleb Thielbar to give the Yankees a four run cushion. Between Judge, Juan Soto and Stanton, it marks the first time in Yankee history that three players have 15+ HRS through the first 62 games of the season. “Pitchers have been dominant, the lineup has been tough on opposing pitchers. Just top to bottom, it’s been awesome,” said Stanton.

The Twins lone run came in the 7th when Royce Lewis hit a long home run off of reliever Tommy Kahnle. Ian Hamilton and Luke Weaver closed it out with two scoreless innings as the Yankees beat the Twins for a fourth straight time this season. Since 2002, the Yankees are a remarkable 105-42 vs. Minnesota.

Cole made his first rehab start for Double-A Somerset where he tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Cole threw 45 pitches and allowed two hits and struck out five of the 11 batters he faced.

The post Gil Yeah, Rookie Keeps Yanks Rolling appeared first on NY Sports Day.

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