Luis Gil Throws Down Another GEM. NY 2 LA Angels 1

Luis Gil threw down another GEM — 8 innings of 2-hit, 1-run baseball, striking out 9 and walking only 2 to lead the Yankees to a 2-1 win over the Angels in Anaheim on a Wednesday night.

Alex Verdugo hit a solo Homer in the 4th, and Anthony Volpe provided an insurance run with a triple in the 7th — scoring on an error on the throw to 3rd — a little-league homerun. Clay Holmes took everyone on a roller coaster ride in the 9th, allowing the first 2 batters on via a single and a walk, but then getting a double play and another groundout for the win.

Gil goes to 7-1 1.99 and is one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. The triple was Volpe’s 2nd hit of the game — in the 1st inning he singled to extend his hitting streak to 21 games.

Manager Aaron Boone watched the game on TV in the clubhouse after being ejected in the 1st inning arguing a play where Juan Soto was called out for interference on an Infield Fly Rule play.

“That’s number 1 why he’s Luis Gil and why he’s off to this start — it starts with the fastball,” said Boone afterwards. “It’s elite; it’s special; he can lean on it; again why he’s gotten better is he has a real presence now with the secondary — but that fastball tonite was electric… I’m a nervous wreck watching these games, trying to find a tv. I mean… phew. It’s easier in the dugout.”

NY improves to 38-19 and remain 1.5 ahead of Baltimore in the AL East. LA falls to 21-34.

1. Soto Called Out on Interference on ‘Wonky Play’

Gil was not the talk of the game at the start — it was Soto being called out for interference after the Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the 1st against LA’s 6’2 lefty starter Tyler Anderson (Volpe single, Soto walk, Aaron Judge walk).

Giancarlo Stanton popped up to 2nd base. The ump called the infield fly rule. Juan Soto was a few feet off 2nd — and when the ump called the infield fly rule he scampered the few feet back to 2nd — but shortstop Zach Neto knocked into him when he backed up at the last second to catch the ball. Yankee fans on Twitter howled and asked the question, ‘How can you interfere on a play with Infield Fly rule invoked — the ball is dead?’

“Obviously a wonky play,” said Boone afterwards. “I mean I don’t know what Juan’s (supposed to do). You can say he better get there, but once he commits to get there he’s trying to stay out of the way. Like if Neto catches it he might catch it on the bag for a double play. It’s like, where do you go?”

2. Verdugo HR Gives Yanks 1-0 Lead

The Yankees threatened again in the top of the 2nd after a 1-out single by Anthony Rizzo and walk to Jose Trevino put 2 on with 1 out. DJ LeMahieu hit a double-play grounder to  3rd baseman Luis Guillorme but Rizzo allowed it to kick off his leg on purpose to break up the DP. Rizzo was also called for runner’s interference — but it was a smart, on-purpose play by Rizzo. Not only did Rizzo break up the double play but he helped teammate LeMahieu raise his batting average, as it was ruled a single.

After that Tyler Anderson started to motor, pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd — and so the umpire call in the 1st continued to grow in importance — until Alex Verdugo hit a 394-foot HR to right leading off the 4th, giving NY a 1-0 lead.

3. Gil Great Again

By that time Gil was in gear.

Luis allowed a 2-out walk in the 1st, pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd, and pitched around a walk and a 2-out single in the 3rd.

Staked to a 1-0 lead, Gil really started motoring — striking out the side in the 4th, and pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th and 6th.

LA catcher Logan O’Hoppe tagged Gil for a 1-out Homer to right center in the 7th to make it a 2-1 game — but Gil got the next 5 batters, including a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th.

Gil was helped by a tremendous defensive play by Volpe in the 6th.

4. Volpe Triple

Anthony Volpe gave Gil an insurance run in the top of the 7th with a leadoff triple of Hunter Strickland. The throw to 3rd went into the dugout so Volpe was awarded home for a 2-0 Yankee lead.

Gil was also helped by a nice diving catch by Verdugo in the 8th.

5. Holmes Rollercoaster 9th

In came Clay Holmes for the save in the 9th and it was a rollercoaster from the start as he allowed a leadoff single to Luis Rengifo and then walked a batter and here we go again.

But Holmes got old friend Willie Calhoun to ground into a double play to shortstop — putting the tying run to 3rd with 2 outs.

Holmes then got O’Hoppe to ground out to LeMahieu at 3rd for the old ballgame.

“With Clay we always say, ‘one pitch away’,” said Boone afterwards. “He’s gonna put you on the ground eventually. He did a great job of that. Just a good bounce-back victory.”


Volpe went 2-5 on the night and is now slashing 6-23-.288 (.357 OBP) with a 2.7 WAR.

The Boxscore


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