New York hits three home runs off the Mariners’ left-hander, leading to Seattle’s second straight loss
NEW YORK — Like so many pitchers before him who now despise pitching in the massive structure in the Bronx with a seething white-hot intensity, Marco Gonzales’ introduction to the Yankees and the hitters’ paradise that is Yankee Stadium ended in frustrating disappointment.
It started off as “living out a childhood dream to pitch here,” and devolved into his fourth loss of the season.
The Yankees bashed three homers off Gonzales (7-4) and racked up six runs against Seattle’s starter in an easy 7-2 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night.
With the loss, the Mariners (46-27) lost back-to-back games for the first time since May 29-30.
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“I actually thought Marco threw the ball OK,” manager Scott Servais said. “They made an adjustment the second time through the lineup and they were on his offspeed stuff. I thought he threw the ball fine, but maybe not quite as sharp.”
To be fair, the Yankees lineup features a plethora of power hitters and can make any park play small. But their homepark, with a breeze blowing out, is tiny.
“In this ballpark, that’s going to happen,” Servais said of the homers. “That’s how they’re built — to drive the ball out of the park.”
Gonzales entered the game having allowed just six homers in 79 innings — the fewest of any Seattle starter. He had the third-lowest homers per nine innings of any starter in the American League at 0.68.
“I mean home runs are going to happen,” he said. “It’s baseball. It’s a short porch. It’s a boom box in here. I’m just trying to stay aggressive. You can take home runs one way or you can take them the other way. I’m going to learn from it. What an experience.”
Given a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Gonzales made it through two hitters before losing it.
Gonzales threw a first-pitch curveball to mammoth slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The pitch wasn’t in a horrible location — low and diving out of the strike zone.
It didn’t matter.
Stanton reached down and muscled the ball over the wall in center field for his 17th homer of the season.
“That’s a good-hitting team and they had the right game plan of sitting on offspeed,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales didn’t allow a run over the next three innings, but they were a battle with runners on base and batters making hard contact.
“I think teams are starting to change what they are doing against me,” he said. “And that’s great. I love that competition. I love that chess game that this game provides.”
His outing fell apart in the fifth inning. He issued a leadoff walk and then tried to bury a 2-2 curveball on the back foot of Miguel Andujar in hopes he would swing over the top of it. Andujar somehow dropped the bat head and squared up the pitch well out of the strike zone, golfing it over the wall in left field for a two-run homer.
Gonzales seemed stunned that Andujar could hit the pitch that well and that it carried into the left-field stands for a 3-1 lead.
“That’s one of those ones that you tip your hat,” he said. “I made the right pitch. He got barrel on it, and you just tip your hat.”
But the inning and the homers didn’t end. Two batters later, Gonzales left a first-pitch changeup over the middle of the plate. Aaron Hicks ambushed the pitch for another two-run homer to make it 5-1.
The Mariners have made that sort of deficit workable for a comeback this season, but not on this night. They couldn’t solve the riddle that was right-hander Domingo German, who pitched seven innings, allowing just two runs (one earned) on two hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. It was his longest start of the season.
“We chased some changeups and curveballs out of the zone, and he’s got enough (of a) fastball to keep you honest,” Servais said. “He did a better job of controlling the strike zone than we did.”
The Mariners grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first against Yankees starter Domingo German. Dee Gordon led off with a hustling double to center on a soft liner. He scored on Mitch Haniger’s fielder’s choice.
“You want to jump on the starter early because once they settle in and get a rhythm it can get tougher,” Servais said. “He’s got good stuff. He’s fastball has got a lot of life.”
Not much followed that little burst of early offense. After Gordon’s leadoff double, German didn’t allow another hit until Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer to left field with one out in the seventh inning to trim the Yankees lead to 5-2. That was a span of 20 hitters without registering a hit or a walk.
“He kept us off balance,” Cruz said. “Seemed like we were late on the fastball early and didn’t hit the breaking pitches.”
Cruz’s homer was admittedly a Yankee Stadium special.
“I thought it was an easy pop out,” he said. “I hit it off the end of the bat. Good thing it went out.”
But the Mariners wouldn’t get any more hits against German or reliever A.J. Cole, who worked the final two innings.
Gonzales worked into the seventh and was charged with another run when Nick Rumbelow allowed an RBI single to Aaron Judge.
Rumbelow later served up a massive solo homer to Gleyber Torres in the eighth inning to make it 7-2.