Eovaldi retires 18 straight, Yankees beat Arizona 4-2
May. 19, 2016
PHOENIX (AP) — Nathan Eovaldi doesn't consider himself an ace just yet. He sure pitched like one Wednesday night, though.
Eovaldi retired the 18 batters he faced after allowing a freak leadoff base hit and the New York Yankees salvaged the final game of a three-game series in Arizona by beating the Diamondbacks 4-2.
"I don't look at myself as an ace but I do want to try and do well when we're struggling and try to get us back on track," he said. "I do feel like if you have a good start from the starter, everybody else kind of builds off that."
Jean Segura's ground ball to start the first inning bounced off the bag at second and dribbled into the outfield for a double.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought it would have been a base hit even if it hadn't hit the bag "but it was one of the weirder doubles you're going to see."
After that, only two balls even reached the outfield off the Yankees right-hander, who hit 100 mph on the Chase Field radar gun while improving to 4-0 in his last five starts.
Eovaldi (4-2) gave up one run and struck out five with no walks.
"He attacked," Girardi said. "He did a heck of a job. We needed a win tonight after losing the first two the way we did and he pitched a great game."
Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer and Jacoby Ellsbury went 3 for 3 with an RBI single for New York. Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect ninth for his fourth save since being reinstated on May 9.
Shelby Miller (1-5) scattered 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs.
Eovaldi threw just 85 pitches and admitted he was "a little bit disappointed" not to come out for the seventh.
But Girardi instead turned the ball over to the well-rested big three at the back end of the bullpen — Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman.
"I'm going to take my chances probably 99 percent of the time with Betances, Miller and Chapman," Girardi said, "just because they're so good."
The only other Arizona hit for the night was Chris Owings' home run off Andrew Miller in the eighth.
Ellsbury opened the game with a walk and Gardner hit Shelby Miller's 1-2 pitch into the right field seats for his fifth home run of the season.
After his unorthodox double in the first, Segura took third on a ground out and scored when Paul Goldschmidt bounced out to third. Third baseman Chase Headley may have had a chance to throw the runner out at home, especially when Segura screeched to a stop about two-thirds of the way there, but chose to get the sure out instead.
New York added a run in the sixth.
With a runner at second and two outs, Arizona manager Chip Hale went to the mound but chose not to make a pitching change.
Ellsbury followed with an RBI single, making him 6 for 6 lifetime against Miller.
"I went to talk to him and make sure it was his last hitter," Hale explained. "I was going to bring in Chaf (Andrew Chafin) for Gardner. Ellsbury's numbers versus left-handers are really good. Granted, he hits Shelby pretty well, but we had a plan how to pitch him, but he (Miller) just got the ball up a little."
Yankees: Alex Rodriguez (strained right hamstring) is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday but Girardi says it will be a few days more before that happens. SS Didi Gregorius was hit in the ankle by a line drive off the bat of Headley in the second inning but stayed in the game.
Diamondbacks: RHP Josh Collmenter (right shoulder inflammation) allowed a run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Reno on Tuesday night. Manager Chip Hale said Collmenter will make one more rehab appearance before joining the big league club.
Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (2-1, 3.70 ERA) makes his third start of the season Thursday night when the Yankees open a four-game series in Oakland. He is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his two starts after making his first five appearances of the season out of the bullpen.
Diamondbacks: Arizona has only its second day off in the last 38 days on Thursday. LHP Patrick Corbin (19-3, 4.14) makes the start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at St. Louis.