HOPE Week: ‘Harlem Grown’

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The Yankees continued their eighth annual HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Wednesday by recognizing the organization Harlem Grown and its founder, Tony Hillery. Pitchers Masahiro Tanaka, Andrew Miller, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Chasen Shreve, Kirby Yates and Richard Bleier, catcher Austin Romine and infielder-outfielder Rob Refsnyder visited the Harlem Grown garden and greenhouse on 134th Street, surprising Hillery and a class of kindergarten students from P.S. 125.

Tony and the children were treated to a salad prep demonstration from celebrity chef Andrew Carmellini. Then the group got down in the dirt, planting seeds and doing work in the garden. Additional participants included hip-hop artists “The Lox” (featuring group members: Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P), Miss New York USA 2016 Serena Bucaj and singer-songwriter Kany Garcia. During the ceremonies, the Yankees presented a donation to Harlem Grown on behalf of the New York Yankees Foundation.

Hillery, a Bronx resident, was ready for a career change after the 2009 recession and decided to leave behind his limousine business to do something to help the next generation. While volunteering at Harlem’s P.S. 175 (where most students come from female-led, single-parent homes), Hillery noticed the utter lack of healthy food options in the neighborhood. He counted 53 fried chicken restaurants within a three-block radius of the school without a single place to get a fresh salad.

“I was like most of us, reading and hearing that low income people don’t want to eat healthy,” Hillery said. “But when you go to where they live, there is pizza, fried chicken, fried fish, fried everything, and absolutely no healthy food.”

Hillery took an abandoned lot across the street from the school and reclaimed it through an application to the Parks Department, turning the space into an “urban farm” with farming skills he learned from the internet. He started a program called Harlem Grown, which inspires youth to live healthy and ambitious lives through hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability and nutrition.

The programs have expanded to include one-on-one mentoring, operation of a hydroponic greenhouse (which produces arugula, kale, Swiss chard and basil among other items), a summer camp, cooking workshops, and training for Harlem parents to learn about urban agriculture. All of the food produced by Harlem Grown is given to the children to take home or sold to local establishments for revenue that is reinvested in the program.

Beltran’s 1,000th extra-base hit leads the way

Carlos Beltran started Tuesday night from where he left off Monday night with a two-run home run in the first inning coming on the heels of a three-run homer that lifted the Yankees to a 5-2 victory the previous game. His 15th home run of the season was also Beltran’s 1,000th career extra-base hit and started the Yanks toward a 6-3 verdict.

Earlier Tuesday, Beltran was part of the Yankees’ contingent that visited a cancer patient in the North Bronx as part of the HOPE Week initiative. Starlin Castro was also there to help clean Marybell Ruiz’s apartment, and he also homered for the second straight night. Castro, who tied the score Monday night by following Brian McCann’s solo homer with one of his own, struck the right field foul pole with an opposite-field drive in the third inning for his ninth home run to boost the Yankees’ lead to 5-0 over the Angels and David Huff.

The pitcher’s name should be familiar to Yankees fans. Huff pitched for the Yankees in separate stints in 2013 and 2014 and was 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA. Last month he opted out of a minor-league contract with the Royals to sign with the Angels and drew the starting assignment in place of righthander Nick Tropeano, who is one of 10 Angels players on the disabled list. Huff is a native of Huntington Beach, Calif., in the Halos’ backyard near Anaheim.

After Beltran’s homer in the first inning, the Yankees added a run with help from Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar, who in forgetting how many outs there were lost a shot at a double play. Austin Romine made him pay with an RBI single. Rob Refsnyder, who is looking better and better each day at first base, had a sacrifice fly in the second aided by another Angels error, by Huff on an off-line throw to first base.

On the pitching end, the Yankees received encouraging efforts from starter Michael Pineda and reliever Dellin Betances. Pineda limited the Angels to one hit through the first four innings before hitting a pothole in the fifth as the Halos put up three runs on an RBI single by Gregorio Petit and a two-run home run by Kole Calhoun. Pineda came off the mat, however, and set the Angels down in order in both the sixth and seventh.

A key stolen base by Brett Gardner with two out in the seventh set the stage for an insurance run on a single to right by Alex Rodriguez.

Betances, who had been scored upon in his previous four outings, had a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts. Andrew Miller worked the ninth and one night after earning his third victory without a loss he notched his seventh save.

3-run homer returns to Yankees’ repertoire

Why does it seem as though Carlos Beltran is always making history? The Yankees’ right fielder did it again with his game-winning home run in the eighth inning Monday night that unlocked a 2-2 score. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner were on base after two-out singles when Beltran connected for his 14th homer of the season that turned back the Angels.

The three-run home run, which used to define the Yankees, has become a rarity this season. It was the first home run with more than two runners on board for the Yankees since Mark Teixeira’s three-run Jack April 7 against the Astros. MLB Network’s research showed that the 53-game drought between Yankees’ three-run homers or grand slams was the club’s longest in more than 40 years. They went 59 games without a three-run homer or grand slam in 1975 from June 20 through Aug. 19.

Just a year ago, the Yankees led the major leagues with a franchise-record 47 home runs of three or more runs (40 three-run homers, seven salamis), 18 more than the next-highest team (Blue Jays, 29) and the third-highest total in history (1996 Mariners, 53; 2000 Cardinals, 48). Only four of the Yankees’ 58 homers to date have been for three or fours runs.

Beltran’s blast batting right-handed off Angels lefthander Jose Alvarez was the Yanks’ second go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later this season. The other was Gardner’s walk-off solo shot in the ninth April 23 against the Rays.

Beltran’s four go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later in three years with the Yankees are the most on the club since 2011. Three of the four were three-run homers: also Aug. 14, 2015 at Toronto (eighth inning) and June 20, 2014 at Yankee Stadium against the Orioles (walk-off in ninth). Monday night’s home run was the Yankees’ latest go-ahead homer of at least three runs since Greg Bird’s three-run shot in the top of the 10th Sept. 22 last year at Toronto.

The Yankees are 10-1 this season when Ellsbury and Gardner both score runs in the same game and 32-5 since the start of 2015. Brian McCann and Starlin Castro, who tied the score in the seventh with two-out solo homers off Matt Shoemaker, hit the Yankees’ fourth set of back-to-back homers this season, tied for third-most in the AL (Orioles, 9; Tigers, 5) and equals their 2015 total of back-to-back dingers

HOPE Week: ‘Cleaning for a Reason’


Joe and Lena Girardi with Marybell Ruiz in her living room.

There was more that one cleanup hitter in the Yankees’ lineup that visited a woman battling colon cancer as part of the HOPE Week initiative Tuesday to do some housework in connection with Cleaning for a Reason, a service to cancer patients.

Manager Joe Girardi and his daughter, Lena, arrived on site with second baseman Starlin Castro and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran prepared to help tidy up the one-bedroom apartment in the North Bronx. Marybell Ruiz had expected Evelyn Rodriguez from the Spotless Service to make her scheduled visit and was stunned to see who came along with her.

“I am a lifelong Yankees fan,” Marybell said. “Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi are my two favorites. When Joe took over the team [as manager] I was so happy.”

Girardi took over this team as well. He instructed his players to get to work in the kitchen while he and Lena toiled with mops and dusters in the living room. When Marybell and her husband Flavio said their son Messiah and daughter Amaya were in school, Girardi suggested they go get them and bring them home to meet the players and off they went.

“This is weird,” Amaya said later at the apartment. “It is like a dream.”

Among the cleaning unit was Debbie Sardone, founder and president of Cleaning for a Reason, which offers complimentary monthly house cleanings to women who are undergoing cancer treatments. The organization is an outgrowth of Buckets and Bows Maid Service, which Sardone started in 2003 in Lewisville, Texas. Sardone recalled receiving a phone call from a woman who sought a quote for service but said she could not afford it because she was undergoing cancer treatment.

That convinced Sardone to form Cleaning for a Reason, which in the past decade has helped more than 21,000 cancer patients through more than 1,200 cleaning companies across North America. Each cleaning service volunteers time and staff to clean two homes per month, free of cost. Once matched with a local outlet such as Spotless Service, each patient is eligible to have her house cleaned once a month for up to four months while she is going through treatment.

Marybell Ruiz, 34, underwent a chemotherapy session the day before the Yankees paid their visit. She was diagnosed last year with Stage 4 colon cancer, the same disease that took her mother at the age of 28 and also claimed the lives of her grandmother and two aunts.

“It is a genetic condition in my family,” Marybell said. “Amaya is only nine years old and has already been checked regularly.”

“Cleaning the bathroom is most difficult for patients, scrubbing down shower walls and cleaning toilets,” Sardone said. “It helps to get them back in control of their lives when the house looks and smells cleaner.”

“What they are doing is great,” Beltran said. “It is important to help other people.”

Starlin Castro, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury in the kitchen with Evelyn Rodriguez.

Late-inning blasts power Yanks past Angels

What Brian McCann did in the seventh inning Monday night at Yankee Stadium seldom happens. Usually when a player hits a long foul ball over the fence that excites the crowd he almost never follows that with a fair ball over the fence in the same at-bat.

McCann not only accomplished that against the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker but also on the very next pitch. The Yankees catcher missed a home run by a few feet, then smacked the next delivery on a 3-2 count deep into the second deck in right field for his eighth home run.

Yankees fans had not much to cheer about up to that point, but they had barely gotten back into their seats when Starlin Castro jacked a 1-0 delivery into the second deck in left field for his eighth home run. The back-to-back bombs made the score 2-2.

Prior to that, the Yankees had managed only four hits over six innings off Shoemaker, who had retired 12 batters in a row at one point. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka was trying to keep the Yankees close with another quality start. He allowed two runs on a two-out, RBI single by Albert Pujols in the first inning and a sacrifice fly by Kole Calhoun in the third. With the Yanks tying the score in the seventh, Tanaka came out of the game with his eighth no-decision in 12 starts.

Andrew Miller kept the Stadium crowd of 34,648 electrified in the eighth as he struck out Calhoun, Mike Trout and Pujols in succession. Miller wound up the winning pitcher as the Yanks mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who had ended Shoemaker’s 12 outs in a row run with a double in the sixth, lined a single to right, his third hit of the game. With two down, Ellsbury was a threat to steal and commanded much of Shoemaker’s attention, perhaps too much, as Brett Gardner was able to poke a single to center in front of Trout, who may have given up on the ball too soon.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to turn switch-hitter Carlos Beltran around to the right side and brought in lefthander Jose Alvarez. Beltran joined the home run derby by launching a 0-1 pitch to the opposite field with the ball landing in the lower stands in right field for his 14th home run.

The 5-2 victory was an especially satisfying way to begin the homestand after what happened to the Yankees in Baltimore Sunday at the end of a dismal 4-8 trip. Aroldis Chapman, who sustained his first blown save in Sunday’s stunning, late-inning loss, got a quick shot at redemption and picked up his 10th save. Recent Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Chris Parmelee made two splendid catches along the first base railing to assist Chapman, whose other out was a strikeout.

HOPE Week: ‘Stars for Cars’


Nick Goody,  Chase Headley, Brett Gardner, Jake Gallin, Brian McCann, Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, Mariano Rivera.

The eighth annual HOPE Week got off to a strong start Monday as former Yankees closer and current Yankees Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Chase Headley and Nick Goody surprised Jake Gallin at New Rochelle City Hall and presented a donation of $10,000 to his Stars for Cars program. The players greeted local U.S. military veterans on the 72nd anniversary of D-Day and roamed the parking lot selling Stars for Cards decals.

In 2011, Jake Gallin, then 8 years old, was watching television on a Thursday afternoon when he became interested in a segment that was running on the Oprah Winfrey Show. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden were Oprah’s guests that day discussing their nationwide campaign to support military families.

The First Lady talked about the sacrifices that “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” families make – Blue Star for families with members currently serving and Gold Star for those who lost family members in combat. She spoke of the difficulties of having a loved one serving in the armed forces and how it is an emotional time for many families.

She further explained how these families go largely unrecognized for all the challenges they endure. The First Lady reminded the audience that one percent of our country protects the other 99 percent of our nation.

Jake became determined to raise awareness of the daily sacrifices that our troops and their families make. Soon after, while riding in the car with his mother, Jake noticed a decal on the car in front on them. He immediately came up with the idea to create magnetic decals to recognize the Blue and Gold Star Families for their service. When he returned home, he started designing the star and choosing the words “We Support Blue Star & Gold Star Military Families” for the decal. At that moment, “Stars for Cars” was officially born.

A family friend set up the website, http://www.starsforcars.org, where customers could purchase the 5.5-inch decals for $10 each. Jake expanded the group’s efforts by sending more than 7,000 letters to schools and government officials to spread the word about the importance of honoring military families. The response was overwhelming, with more than 100 schools in seven states signing on.

“The car decal takes the idea of the Blue and Gold stars and allows you to put it on your car to show your support for the sacrifices of our troops and their families,” Gallin said. “I hope I am having an impact on every single person who hears the announcement or sees a star decal on the car in front of them.”

All of the organization’s proceeds go directly to the USO of Metropolitan New York, which strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. To date, Stars for Cars has sold thousands of decals and raised approximately $20,000.

Jake, now 14 and an eighth-grade student at Albert Leonard Middle School in New Rochelle, continues his efforts. As a result of his hard work and dedication, Gallin has earned a number of accolades, including being named one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of 2015 by The Prudential “Spirit of Community Awards.”

“He was just a kid who wanted to help,” said Jake’s father, Tom. “Something like this makes it clear that doing small things in life can make a big difference.”

For more information about Stars for Cars, please contact Tom Gallin, at tgallin@optonline.net or phone (646) 296-4667.

Bullpen had leaky boat on 4-6 trip

Too bad it stopped raining Sunday in Baltimore.

Had the game not been resumed, it would have been a 1-0 victory for the Yankees. The Orioles had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning when a thunderstorm held up play for 1 hour, 37 minutes. Since the Yankees had scored their run in the third inning and not the top of the eighth, the game would have been considered official and not suspended.

No such luck for the Yankees as the skies cleared. Still, with previously invincible Aroldis Chapman entering the game the odds still favored the Yankees, especially after he struck out Jonathan Schoop for the second out. Francisco Pena, son of Yankees first base coach Tony Pena, kept Baltimore’s hopes alive with a sharp single to right field that loaded the bases.

Chapman got ahead in the count 0-2 to pinch hitter Matt Wieters, who turned a 99-mph fastball around on the next pitch for a single through the middle that scored the tying and go-ahead runs. An insurance run scored when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury’s throw bounced over catcher Brian McCann with Chapman failing to back up the plate. It was the first blown save for Chapman this season in 10 opportunities.

That run proved inconsequential because Orioles closer Zach Britton retired the Yankees in order in the ninth for his 17th save. The 3-1 loss ended a 4-6 trip for the Yankees and a 12-game stretch against American League East opponents in which they were 4-8.

The bullpen, which had been considered a Yankees strength, had some holes on the trip. The relief squad had a 1-2 record with three saves and a 6.15 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. It was even worse over the final six games — an 8.40 ERA in 15 innings. In the three-game set at Camden Yards, the pen blew late-inning leads of 5-2 and 1-0 in losses and came within one run of blowing a 7-0 lead in the Yanks’ lone victory in the series.

Dellin Betances had a particularly rough ride. In four appearances on the trip, the righthander was 1-2 with a 9.53 ERA. He allowed six earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, and in his one winning decision Thursday night at Detroit in a rain-makeup game he, Andrew Miller and Chapman combined to turn a 5-1 lead into a 5-4 squeaking victory.

Sunday starter CC Sabathia pitched five scoreless innings, but six walks shoved his pitch count to 111 one batter into the sixth, once again forcing manager Joe Girardi to send for reinforcements a little more than halfway through the game. CC twice struck out major-league home run leader Mark Trumbo with the bases full.

Kirby Yates finished the sixth by retiring the side. Betances withstood a leadoff single in the seventh for a clean inning but started the eighth with a walk to Mark Trumbo, who had struck out three times against Sabathia, and giving up a single to Chris Davis before striking out Nolan Reimold before the rains came.

At least the Yankees’ offense woke up in Baltimore. The Yanks had 36 hits in the series, including 10 Sunday but they left 10 on base in going 1-for-11 (.091) with runners in scoring position. Breaking out of slumps during the series were Alex Rodriguez, who had 6-for-13 (.462) with a home run and three RBI, and Brett Gardner, who had 7-for-13 (.538) with two runs, two doubles and a stolen base.

Yanks rally early but need pen to secure victory

The national television audience watching Fox’s coverage of Saturday night’s Yankees-Orioles game had to be wondering about all the reports they read or heard about the Bombers’ slumbering offense.

There were the Yankees on national TV lashing out 16 hits and scoring runs in bunches. It was a throwback to the days when the Yankees loved coming to hitter-friendly Camden Yards against some weak Baltimore clubs to improve their batting averages and slugging percentages. The Orioles have had the upper hand in recent years, but the Yankees looked like the Bronx Bombers of old in building a 7-0 lead through six innings.

Ivan Nova was cruising along on a three-hit shutout until Mark Trumbo led off the seventh with his 18th home run, most in the majors. That was just the beginning of the wheels falling off for Nova, who gave up an infield hit to Matt Wieters and a two-run, opposite-field homer to Pedro Alvarez. The onslaught did not give Yankees manager Joe Girardi must time to get a reliever warm up in the bullpen and stayed with Nova, who gave up a bloop single to Jonathan Schoop and walked Ryan Flaherty on a full count.

Nova was on fumes at this point, so Girardi brought in Nick Goody, who proceeded to yield a three-run home run to Adam Jones. Suddenly, 7-0 was 7-6, and the Yankees had nine more outs to get. What for a time was a laugher became a sweat box.

With Dellin Betances, who had pitched the previous two night, unavailable, Girardi relied on Andrew Miller, who did a yeoman’s job in retiring the six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings. The Yankees came up with a huge insurance run in the ninth off reliever Vance Worley with one out on a double by Aaron Hicks, who entered the game in right field as a defensive replacement in the seventh, and a single by Alex Rodriguez, his third hit of the game.

Aroldis Chapman took it from there, although the ninth inning began with catcher Austin Romine having to leave the game after being cut on the left hand trying to catch a warmup pitch in the dirt. Brian McCann, who was on the bench nursing a hyperextended left elbow, took over behind the plate.

Chapman walked Jones with two out before striking out pinch hitter Nolan Reimold looking for his ninth save and put to rest any chance of an Orioles comeback. The bullpen has been leaky of late. Kirby Yates and Betances contributed to the Yankees’ blowing a 5-2 lead Friday night. Thursday night in Detroit, the Yankees were up 5-1 and held on for a 5-4 victory despite Betances, Miller and Chapman all being scored upon over the final three innings.

A serious injury to Romine would be critical. The Yankees are running out of catchers. McCann is still not 100 percent, and Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre’s Gary Sanchez is on the disabled list. The Yankees purchased the contract of first baseman Chris Parmelee from SWB to help fill the void of Mark Teixeira, who was placed on the 15-day DL because of torn cartilage in his right knee. Dustin Ackley, who had been Tex’s back-up at first base, had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder and was transferred to the 60-day DL. That opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Parmelee.

Girardi spoke before the game of a possible platoon at first base with Parmelee and Rob Refsnyder, yet with righthander Tyler Wilson starting for the Orioles the manager started Refsnyder, who had an RBI double in four at-bats. Parmelee took over in the field in the eighth.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Romine, the Yankees attacked Wilson for four runs and five hits in the fourth. Carlos Beltran and Rodriguez started the rally with singles. Starlin Castro, who had three hits, doubled home Beltran. A-Rod scored on an infield out. Refsnyder restarted the rally with his double that scored Castro and came home on a single by Romine.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, who were a combined 4-for-10 at the top of the order, teamed on a double steal with two out in the sixth that resulted in Ellsbury’s second swipe of home this season and the third time in his career.

Everyone in the Yankees’ starting lineup plus Hicks had at least one hit. It would have been an absolute crime if the pitchers could not make all that offense hold up.

Teixeira injury opens possible spot for Refsnyder

Some Yankees fans may have been surprised not to see Rob Refsnyder in the lineup Friday night at Baltimore, the fourth and last stop on the trip. The rookie had a big game Thursday at Detroit (double, single, two runs, one RBI), and the Yankees can use all the offense they can find these days.

Although he was not in the starting lineup, Refsnyder got into the game in the third inning as a replacement at first base for Mark Teixeira, who left because of a right knee injury. Refsnyder had not played first base since college, but he is getting used to moving around the diamond. 

He played the outfield mostly at the University of Arizona but was converted into a second baseman in the Yankees’ minor-league system. During spring training this year Refsnyder played some third base as well but did not take to the position. Since coming up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this week Refsnyder has played right field and second base. He has also been working out at first base.

The Yankees have been vulnerable at that position even before Teixeira got hurt. Dustin Ackley is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Backup catcher Austin Romine has been used at first base, but he had to catch Friday night because Brian McCann was nursing a hyperextended left elbow.

Teixeira has had a dismal first third of a season (Friday night was game number 54, the one-third mark). The switch hitter is batting .180 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 167 at-bats. At this point a year ago, Tex had 16 homers and 40 RBI while batting .245.

His lack of productivity has been a factor in the Yankees’ woeful offense. They entered play Friday night last in the American League in batting (.232) and tied with the Twins for last in runs (198).

Scoring runs was not as much a problem for the Yankees Friday night as it was preventing them. The Yankees had not homered in the previous three games but took a 4-1 lead against Orioles righthander Chris Tillman on a two-run blast by Carlos Beltran and solo shots by Alex Rodriguez and Austin Romine.

Orioles slugger Chris Davis made the score 4-2 with his 11th homer, in the fourth. Nathan Eovaldi’s string of winning starts ended at five when he lost a 5-2 lead in the sixth. It was the first time in six starts that he failed to get through the sixth inning.

A bases-loaded single by Matt Wieters chased Eovaldi. Kirby Yates got a big strikeout but gave up a two-out double to Jonathan Schoop that tied the score. For his third floor straight appearance, Dellin Betances was scored upon, and the run he gave up in the seventh proved the decider. 

Singles by Adam Jones and Hyun Soo Kim put runners on the corners with none out. A slow grounder along the third base line by Manny Machado was well placed enough for Jones to score as Chase Headley had no other play but to get an out at first base

One-night stand in Motown lifts Yanks’ spirits

Thursday night’s game in Detroit was a nuisance stop for the Yankees. The makeup of an April 10 rainout came amid a three-city, nine-game trip and has forced them to play in three different cities in three days. Yet it turned out to be a stop that may get them going again.

The Yankees may have had to sweat through a 5-4 victory, but it was very welcome perspiration. Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman each gave up a run over the final three innings to shrink nearly all of a four-run Yankees lead, not the way these these three flame-throwing demons normally close out games, but the fact that they were all in the same game was a positive sign in itself.

It meant that come the seventh inning the Yankees had a lead, which never occurred in Toronto earlier this week when they were swept in three games. In fact, the Yankees had more hits with runners in scoring position in the seventh inning Thursday night (three) than they had in all three games combined at Rogers Centre (two).

Rob Refsnyder, who started at second base and is giving the Yankees reason to find him a place to play on a regular basis, got the club’s first run-scoring hit in four games with an RBI single for the first of fours runs in the seventh off lefthander Matt Boyd, who flirted with a perfect game for 5 2/3 innings and a no-hitter through six. An RBI single by Aaron Hicks off Bobby Parnell and a two-run triple by Jacoby Ellsbury off Kyle Ryan climaxed the first real rally for the Yankees since last Saturday night at St. Pete in a 9-5 loss.

Miller and Chapmen received clutch defense from keeping their innings from getting uglier. Refsnyder, who also doubled to break up Boyd’s no-no bid and scored in the sixth to end a 21-inning scoreless drought for the Yanks, came out of the game for defense two innings later. Starlin Castro, who started at shortstop, gave way to Didi Gregorius and returned to his regular patch at second base.

Fresh into the game, Gregorius made immediate impact with a strong relay to the plate to gun down Justin Upton trying to score behind Miguel Cabrera on a double into the left field corner by pinch hitter Ian Kinsler. After Chapman loaded the bases in the ninth with none out, Gregorius and Castro teamed on a dazzling double play against J.D. Martinez that put a clamp on the Tigers’ last licks. Chapman came through by retiring Cabrera on a weak infield grounder for his eighth save.

Statistically, it was a no-decision for starting pitcher Michael Pineda, but his work may have convinced the Yankees to decide to leave him in the rotation. His fastball had sink and his slider had depth through two outs into the sixth inning over which he gave up seven hits but no walks and struck out eight.

The previous time the Yankees had a one-game rainout makeup during a trip was in 2014 at Kansas City. Pineda pitched that game, too, and was a winner. This time, he pitched like a winner as well.

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