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Yankees Starting to Turn Things Around

The New York Yankees have now won four straight to move into sole possession of second place in the American League East just 3 ½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yankees headed on a West Coast road trip earlier in the week and proceeded to sweep the improving Seattle Mariners. Then on Friday night New York routed the AL West leading Oakland A’s 7-0 after losing their previous 7 games in Oakland.

The Yankees won the game behind the pitching of David Phelps and hits that came at the right time. No power was involved, as the Yankees did not hit a home run but did hit 12 singles.

Now with four straight wins and four games over .500, the Yankees look like they could contend during the upcoming long hot days and nights of summer.

Phelps had a no-hitter going after four complete innings and pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing just two hits.

New York battered Sonny Gray the starter for the A’s during the first two innings. Three straight singles started the onslaught in the first and after two, the club was up 3-0.

The Yankees did not score again until the eighth when they scored four on timely hits and uncharacteristically bad defensive plays by the A’s defenders.

Derek Jeter had singles in his first two trips to the plate. It was his fourth consecutive game with more than one hit. When the Yankees started their road trip earlier in the week, Jeter was at .258 on the season and after four games, he has increased that to .275.

The biggest surprise of the night might be that the Yankees had 6 hits in 13 at bats with runners in scoring position, which has been one of their downfalls thus far this season.

Brendan Ryan pitched hit for Jeter in the ninth and was booed loudly as the majority of the crowd had apparently come to see Jeter as he is on his final swing through some ballparks in his last season in the majors.

Making things even worse, Ryan was hit by a pitch on his left elbow by Jim Johnson. Even though it was obvious he was in extreme pain, he stayed in the game and went to first base.

Dellin Betances hit Coco Crisp with a pitch on the foot. However, he was awarded a strikeout when the game’s 3B umpire ruled that the flailing bat of Crisp was a swing and subsequent miss. Crisp however was attempting to move out of the way of the pitch.

That ruling was so surprising to Crisp that he sat at home place and just laughed at the call.

The A’s try to right the ship on Saturday in the second game of the series. Oakland will send Scott Kazmir to the mound. The southpaw has a record of 7-2 with a 2.20 ERA this season. He is 7-7 in 19 career starts versus the Pinstripes.

Hiroki Kuroda will pitch for New York. The 39-year old right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.12 ERA. Kuroda is unbeaten in 6 of his past 7 starts.

Do not be surprised if the Yankees make a midsummer push and land atop the AL East.

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