Young’s 3-run shot lifts Yankees to 3-2 win over Astros
HOUSTON (AP) — Two New York Yankees from Houston stole the show against the Astros on Friday night.
Chris Young had a go-ahead, three-run homer among three more hits in his hometown, lifting the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Astros.
Nathan Eovaldi (7-2), who grew up just outside of Houston in Alvin, Texas, yielded five hits and two runs with six strikeouts in six innings to give him a career-high seven wins. He did it just feet away from fellow Alvin native Nolan Ryan, who sat in the front row just behind home plate.
He’s never met the Hall of Famer and didn’t realize he was sitting there until his night was almost done. He hopes to meet him before the series is over.
“Growing up for me I connected baseball with him,” Eovaldi said. “In our town it was Nolan Ryan everything. You go to any restaurant his memorabilia and everything was there.”
New York managed just three hits through the first six innings. The Yankees trailed 2-0 before Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones had back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh to chase Houston rookie starter Vince Velasquez.
He was replaced by Will Harris (4-1), who was greeted with Young’s shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field to put the Yankees on top.
“Will’s been fantastic,” manager A.J. Hinch said of Harris, who has a 1.03 ERA. “He had one bad pitch in about a month.”
Young, who extended his hitting-streak to a career high-tying nine games Friday, has nine homers, 33 RBIs and 14 multihit games in 25 career games at Minute Maid Park.
“It definitely doesn’t hurt to have some extra support behind your back and a little extra kind of fire up under you when you step to the plate,” Young said. “You always have it under you, but anybody I think will agree that when you have 50 people in the stands, it definitely makes a difference.”
Young’s recent hitting streak has raised his average from .220 to .271.
“He’s been really hot and that’s why he’s playing every day,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Carlos Correa had a run-scoring single in the third inning for Houston and an RBI single by Evan Gattis made it 2-0 in the sixth.
Chasen Shreve struck out the side in the seventh for New York for his 13th straight scoreless appearance and Dellin Betances struck out two in 1 1-3 innings for his fifth save. Betances leads all relievers in the majors with 61 strikeouts.
Velasquez, who was making his fourth career start, allowed five hits and two runs in a season-high 6 1-3 innings.
Jose Altuve singled with one out in the sixth inning and stole second base on a strikeout by Luis Valbuena. It was the first time a runner stole a base with Eovaldi on the mound since June 13, 2014, and it was Altuve’s American League-leading 21st steal.
Altuve made it 2-0 when he scored on a bloop single by Gattis that dropped in between Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner in shallow center field as both Drew and Gregorius fell to the ground trying to catch it.
Young singled in the fifth, but the Yankees couldn’t do anything else in that inning. Chase Headley singled with one out in the sixth before Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Jones robbed Colby Rasmus of a hit when he slid on his knees for a catch for the last out of the fourth inning.
Gardner continued his recent hot hitting with a double off the wall in center field with two outs in the third inning, but Velasquez retired Headley to end the threat. Gardner had two hits on Friday night and has three doubles, one triple, four homers and 10 RBIs in his last eight games.
Hank Conger hit a one-out double in the third inning and scored on a single by Correa with two outs to make it 1-0.
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out since May 19 with a sprained right knee, was traveling to Houston on Friday. Girardi said he’ll work out on Saturday and the team would decide whether he’s ready to go on a rehabilitation assignment. Girardi said the Yankees need to see him run at 100 percent before he can be sent out.
Astros: Placed right-handed reliever Chad Qualls on the disabled list on Friday with a pinched nerve in his neck. ... RHP Scott Feldman, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on May 29, felt good after throwing off the mound in a bullpen session on Thursday. “Actually he felt better than he expected and that’s a positive sign,” Hinch said. “He’s making strides.”
New York’s Masahiro Tanaka (4-3) opposes left-hander Brett Oberholtzer (2-1) when the series continues on Saturday. Tanaka will be pitching on extended rest of five days after tying career highs by allowing seven runs and 10 hits in a loss to Detroit on June 21.