Yankees score four in first, get solid outing from Marcus Stroman to beat A's 4-3

The Yankees got four runs in the first inning and a decent outing from Marcus Stroman to hang on and beat the Oakland A’s, 4-3, Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Here are a few key takeaways...

- Stroman needed just six pitches to record the game's first two outs. But after Brent Rooker worked a walk, Seth Brown hit a soft liner to right that a diving Juan Soto failed to catch and keep in front of him, allowing the runner to score all the way from first base. Soto should have played the ball on a bounce, but instead dinged his starter for a double and a first-inning run.

- Soto made up for his first-inning misplay by rocketing a one-out single in the bottom half of the inning (103.6 mph off the bat to right). Aaron Judge, mired in a 3-for-28 slump with 16 strikeouts in his last seven games, followed by top-spinning a bouncing ball just down the third base line for a double. And the A's lead was short-lived as Giancarlo Stanton crushed a hanging slider (111 mph off the bat) into the gap in left-center for a two-RBI double.

Anthony Rizzo, who fell behind in the count 1-2, laid off a pair of balls in the dirt before getting an elevated fastball and he didn’t miss it connecting on a two-run home run 385 feet to right for a 4-1 lead.

- Again Stroman was cruising with two down in the second, but a hanging slider to Shea Langeliers was punished for a 414-foot homer into the bullpen in right-center. That started a bit of trouble for the Yanks’ starter as an infield single, a base hit to left and a wild pitch put runners on second and third. But a weak grounder to first ended the frame without further damage.

Stroman allowed yet another two-out hit in the third, but needed just 12 pitches to retire the side, getting his fourth and fifth strikeouts of the game. However, Lawrence Butler scooped a low slider to right for a solo homer to start the fourth. Unfortunately for the home team, Butler’s 362-foot liner would not have been a homer in any of the 29 other MLB parks.

The righty may not have had his best stuff on a chilly night in The Bronx, but Austin Wells behind the plate was constantly setting up wide of the plate and home plate John Tumpane was very generous with his zone leading to Stroman grabbing eight strikeouts through five. And the light-hitting A's were a good opponent to face: they had 15 whiffs on 42 swings, an uncharacteristically high number for the diminutive righty.

Stroman got the hook with a runner on first and out in the sixth inning as Ron Marinaccio entered and retired the next two, but not before committing the Yankees’ MLB-leading fourth balk of the season.

Stroman’s final line: 5.1 innings, seven hits, three runs (two homers), one walk and nine strikeouts on 97 pitches (64 strikes).

- While the first looked like the Yanks may be snapping out of a team-wide funk at the plate, A's starter Paul Blackburn had other ideas as he settled into the game nicely after the Rizzo homer, retiring 17 of the next 18 batters allowing just a two-out infield single to Anthony Volpe's in the second. A run that included 13 straight after the single to keep Oakland in the game down just a run entering the seventh.

The Yankees batters finally got something cooking when Austin Adams put two on with nobody out on a walk and hit a batter, but Soto – after getting a generous ball call down 0-2, bounced into a 4-6-3 double play. After Judge was hit, Stanton’s soft liner to short ended the inning to strand a pair.

- The Yanks' bullpen shut the door with Caleb Ferguson, who allowed five runs in his last three outings, entered with one out and a runner on first in relief of Marinaccio in the seventh and pitched a scoreless inning of work with a strikeout. Dennis Santana got two loud outs on flyballs deep in the left centerfield gap that Judge ran down to make nice plays on to close the book in the eighth.

Clay Holmes, who was not used on Monday’s 2-0 loss with both runs coming in the ninth inning, and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to end it with two strikeouts on generous calls from the home plate umpire.

- However, a few struggling Yankee batters continued to languish at the plate:

Gleyber Torres, who entered the game with two hits in his last 16 at-bats with 10 strikeouts, went 0-for-3 on the evening.

Wells, riding an 0-for-21 slump with just one hit in April, went hitless in two at-bats with a strikeout and a walk.

And Judge, who showed signs of life with his early double, went hitless afterward but put a jolt in a ball to the track in right-center (104 mph, 393 feet). He finished 1-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.

Who was the MVP?

The Yankee bullpen allowed no hits and one walk while getting four strikeouts to nail down the game's final 11 outs.


What's next

The Yankees and A's get back together for the third game of their four-game set on Wednesday night, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

Right-hander Clarke Schmidt (1-0, 3.15 ERA) faces off against righty Joe Boyle (1-3, 7.23 ERA).