Yanks Ride Rizzo HR & 4-Run 1st. NY 4 Oakland 3

The Yankees vaunted lineup worked as designed in the winter, with Juan Soto (single), Aaron Judge (double), and Giancarlo Stanton (double) ripping consecutive hits and Anthony Rizzo topping it off with a homer for 4 runs in the 1st inning.

NY didn’t score another run the rest of the night but Marcus Stroman and the bullpen made those 4 runs stand up for the 4-3 victory over the A’s on a chilly Spring Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

“I don’t think we’ve scored a lot in the 1st — we’ve kind of done our damage when we’ve grinded down and gotten into the middle innings. So to put up a big one especially answering them after they were able to get a run,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Lot of good at bats there; Soto getting us going, Judgie putting one down the line, and then Big G really stepping on one in the gap, and good to see Rizz really put together a good at bat with the 2 run homer there. Really strong 1st inning and then the pitching and defense was able to make is stand up.”

NY improves to 16-8. Oakland drops to 9-15.

1. Big 4-Run 1st

The Yankees jumped on A’s starter Paul Blackburn in the bottom of the 1st. Down 1-0 already, Anthony Volpe grounded out, but Juan Soto singled, Aaron Judge ripped a double down the line in left, and Giancarlo Stanton rocked a double to left center for 2 runs.

Anthony Rizzo topped it off with a 2-run homer to right center for a 4-1 Yankee lead.

2. Blackburn Got Tough After 1st

And that would be all she wrote for the Yankee offense. After that, Blackburn — the 6’1, 30-year-old righty, got tough — retiring 17 of the next 18 batters!

Blackburn allowed a 2-out infield single to Anthony Volpe in the 2nd inning, then pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th using a mix of cutters, sliders, curves, changeups and a 90-MPH four-seam fastball.

Blackburn spent 5 years as a spot starter for Oakland with so-so results before coming into his own in 2022, with a 7-6 4.28 and 21 games started. He went 4-7 4.43 last year in 21 starts.

He is having his best year yet this year — losing this one drops his record to 2-1 2.03 on the season.

3. Stro Was Good

Blessed with the 4 runs, Marcus Stroman made it stand up — although he rope-a-doped the Oakland lineup a bit to do so.

Stroman allowed a walk and then RBI double to leftfielder Seth Brown in the top of the 1st, and then after the Yanks gave him the 4 runs, Stroman looked like he was going to give it all back in the top of the 2nd — but didn’t.

After getting the first 2 batters of the 2nd, catcher Shea Langeliers hit a 415-foot solo homer to center for a 4-2 game. Stroman then allowed consecutive singles, and threw a wild pitch to put 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. But he got 1st baseman Aaron Nola on a groundout to end the threat.

Stroman worked around a 2-out single in the 3rd and in the 4th rightfielder Lawrence Butler knocked a 362-foot homer to right for a 4-3 game.

Stroman pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th, and left with a runner on and 1 out in the 6th. Ron Marinaccio came in to strand the runner, getting a strikeout and groundout.

Overall, Stroman pitched well — striking out 9. He wins to go 2-1 2.93.

“Stro was good,” said manager Aaron Boone. “Really a couple of mistakes: Langaliers put a charge in that ball the other way — put a really good swing on that ball — and Butler goes down and gets the slider — probably middle. They created some traffic against him with 2 outs a lot, so it made his night a little longer. But around those mistake pitches where they knocked the ball out of the ballpark on him I thought the threw the ball really well.”

4. Marinaccio, Caleb, and Santana with the Set Up

After getting the last 2 outs of the 6th and stranding the runner, Marinaccio walked the leadoff batter in the 7th but got a foul out and was relieved by Caleb Ferguson.

Ferguson got the last 2 outs of the 7th, stranding the runner — and then got the first out of the 8th before being relieved by Dennis Santana.

Santana got the final 2 outs of the 8th and passed the ball to Clay Holmes for the 9th — NY still clinging to the 4-3 lead.

5. Yanks Kind of Rally in 8th

After Blackburn left, the Yanks were retired in order in the 7th by T.J. McFarland, but in the bottom of the 8th finally got something going — thanks to A’s reliever Austin Adams.

Austin Wells worked a leadoff walk, Anthony Volpe was hit by a pitch, but Juan Soto grounded into a double play. Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch to put 1st and 3rd, 2 outs, but Giancarlo Stanton lined out to shortstop to end the threat.

Thanks to the hit-by-pitches, Aaron Judge and Anthony Volpe both finished 1-3 for the night, raising their averages. Volpe is at .287, and Judge is .180 and rising.

6. Holmes a 1-2-3 Ninth

With the score a precarious 4-3 NY, Clay Holmes pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th — strikeout, groundout, strikeout for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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