Even as the New York Yankees began to surge, Joey Gallo’s first week in pinstripes went quietly at the plate.
After a week of little results, Gallo produced his best game in pinstripes, hitting a go-ahead three-run homer on Thursday to give the Yankees another win. The slugger looks to help New York get a fourth straight win Friday night when it continues a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Gallo’s first six games saw him go 2-for-23, though the Yankees felt he was producing quality at-bats. On Thursday, he helped the Yankees open the series with a 5-3 victory by producing three hits in four at-bats.
“A big night for him, but the way I look at it, he’s been having good at-bats every night,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “The defense has been there; you’re seeing the athleticism. He’s grinding at-bats. So, for me, it was kind of a matter of time where he really broke through. And obviously hit one out of the park — and a huge one at that — but I think he’s looked very good in the first week, frankly.”
His biggest hit occurred in the seventh when Gallo hit a go-ahead three-run homer off Paul Sewald. Gallo’s first homer as a Yankee was a high-arcing shot down the right field line and over the short porch at Yankee Stadium — a place many left-handed hitters have taken advantage of.
“I was just hoping that it would stay fair, and I was just hoping it would get out,” Gallo said. “Once I saw it get out, I was just overcome with emotion.”
Gallo’s big night also featured a pair of doubles and, although he is 5-for-27 with the Yankees, each of those hits has gone for extra bases. Gallo’s big night occurred as the Yankees improved to 6-1 since acquiring him and fellow left-handed slugger Anthony Rizzo last week.
It also helped the Yankees move a season-high 10 games over .500 even as it lost three players — starters Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery and catcher Gary Sanchez — to the COVID-19 injured list this week.
Seattle is trying to shake off another late-inning loss on its 10-game trip. The Mariners held a 3-2 lead after Kyle Seager and rookie Jarred Kelenic homered, but they fell to 3-4 on the trip as Thursday marked their third loss decided in the seventh inning or beyond.
The latest close loss spoiled a night when Kelenic homered for the third time on the trip and the Mariners nearly came back in the ninth. They put two on against Aroldis Chapman but Mitch Haniger flew out to Gallo at the left field warning track to end it.
“We played a really good ballgame,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “I thought we were in a great spot trying to hang onto that thing.”
Marco Gonzales (3-5, 5.15 ERA) starts for Seattle and seeks his third consecutive win. Over his past four starts dating to July 9, Gonzales is 2-0 with a 3.22 ERA. He last pitched Sunday in Texas, where he allowed one run on five hits in six innings in a no-decision.
Gonzales is 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees. In his previous start against the Yankees on May 7, 2019, in New York, he allowed one run on three hits in six innings and took a no-decision.
Montgomery was slated to start before testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Lefty Wandy Peralta (3-2, 5.26) will start in his place after coming off the COVID-19 injured list on Thursday.
Peralta has appeared in 22 games since joining the Yankees on April 27, posting a 5.19 ERA in 17 1/3 innings of relief. He is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in four career appearances against the Mariners, including a 1-0 record in three meetings this season, the latest on July 8, when he allowed one run on one hit, a homer by Haniger in a 4-0 Seattle victory.
–Field Level Media