Gi­rardi’s quick hooks lead Yanks to vic­tory

Gi­rardi’s quick hooks lead to vic­tory

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ron­ald Blum

NEW YORK » Given a two-run lead and one out from qual­i­fy­ing for his first win with the Yan­kees, Jaime Gar­cia gave up an op­po­site-field sin­gle to left by Lu­cas Duda on a check swing. Joe Gi­rardi walked to the mound, and Gar­cia handed him the ball with­out say­ing a word, with­out even look­ing at him, then mut­tered while walk­ing to the dugout.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been pleased when the man­ager takes me out,” Gar­cia said.

Gi­rardi re­turned to the mound again with two outs in the eighth and re­placed Dellin Be­tances with Aroldis Chap­man with a run­ner on. Be­tances’ head drooped, and he walked to the bench with a glum look. “This is not about numbers or when you pitch,” Gi­rardi said. “It’s when we need you, that’s when we need you, and do your job.”

Chap­man and the Yan­kees held on for a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay on Wed­nes­day to take two of three games in a se­ries moved from Florida to Citi Field be­cause of Hur­ri­cane Irma.

New York, which won its fourth straight se­ries, en­tered four games be­hind AL East-lead­ing Bos­ton and three games ahead of Min­nesota for the top AL wild card. The Rays were three games be­hind the Twins, with four other teams to over­come, and re­turned to Trop­i­cana Field for a trun­cated five-game home­s­tand start­ing Fri­day against Bos­ton.

“I don’t know if the right word is re­lief, but it is nice to fi­nally

get home,” said loser Chris Archer (9-10). “I don’t think any­body’s feel­ing re­lieved af­ter we lost two of three given our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.”

Gar­cia is 0-2 in six starts since the Yan­kees ac­quired him from Min­nesota. Mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance since Aug. 30, he al­lowed five hits in 4 2/3 in­nings, giv­ing up Kevin Kier­maier’s lead­off homer in the third.

Gi­rardi did not want Gar­cia to face Evan Lon­go­ria as the po­ten­tial ty­ing run. Chad Green (5-0) re­tired the Rays’ big­gest star on a fly­out, then struck out the side in the sixth.

“June I prob­a­bly would have left him, and July prob­a­bly would have left him in. But you start to get to this point in the sea­son and you have to make some per­sonal sac­ri­fices for the team,” Gi­rardi said. “I un­der­stand if he’s still mad. I’m OK with that.”

Gi­rardi had a con­ver­sa­tion with Gar­cia in the dugout when the in­ning ended.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate that from him,” Gar­cia said. “He came up and said it was a tough for him to do that and that I was throw­ing the ball well.”

Gi­rardi took out CC Sa­bathia af­ter 4 1/3 in­nings with a 5-1 lead on Mon­day when Lon­go­ria came to the plate with two on.

“I don’t ever re­ally take too much in the heat of the mo­ment,” Gi­rardi said. “I want com­peti­tors.”

Af­ter Green struck out the side in the sixth, Tommy Kahnle over­came two hits in the sev­enth with the help of a dou­ble play.

Be­tances al­lowed Lon­go­ria’s one-out sin­gle in the eighth and struck out Lo­gan Mor­ri­son. Gi­rardi thought Chap­man matched up bet­ter against Steven Souza Jr., and even Chap­man was sur­prised when he en­tered for his first save of more than three outs since Game 5 of last year’s World Se­ries for the Chicago Cubs.

Re­stored to the closer’s role last week­end af­ter a mid-Au­gust de­mo­tion, Chap­man walked Souza and gave up an RBI sin­gle to Adeiny Hechavar­ria that put run­ners at the cor­ners. Chap­man struck out pinch­hit­ter Wil­son Ramos with a 101.9 mph fast­ball.

FRANK FRANKLIN II - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Yan­kees’ Aroldis Chap­man de­liv­ers a pitch dur­ing the eighth in­ning of a base­ball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Wed­nes­day, in New York. The Yan­kees won 3-2.

FRANK FRANKLIN II - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Yan­kees’ Brett Gard­ner fol­lows through on a two-run sin­gle dur­ing the sec­ond in­ning of a base­ball game as Tampa Bay Rays catcher Je­sus Su­cre, left, watches Wed­nes­day, in New York.

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