Rookie JP Sears pitched 5 2/3 effective innings in his second successful spot start of the season and the New York Yankees held on for a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
The Yankees won their third straight since getting no-hit by Houston’s trio of Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly on Saturday. New York also won for the 15th time in its past 19 games and improved to 18-2 in its past 20 home games.
Sears (3-0) was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre so the Yankees could give their five starters an extra day of rest. He also made a spot start on May 25 against the Baltimore Orioles and has pitched 12 2/3 scoreless innings in four major league appearances this year.
On Tuesday, Sears allowed three hits, struck out one and walked one. He threw 78 pitches and recorded nine of his 17 outs via groundouts while also getting help from his defense.
Catcher Jose Trevino threw out a pair of runners when he picked Sheldon Neuse off first in the third inning and threw out Christian Bethancourt trying to steal second in the fourth. New York third baseman Josh Donaldson also made a diving catch on Cristian Pache’s liner in the sixth.
Sears exited to a nice ovation after allowing a double to Nick Allen, and rookie Ron Marinaccio struck out Ramon Laureano to end the sixth.
Yankees reliever Wandy Peralta recorded two outs in the seventh, and Michael King followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings as he ended the eighth by getting Allen to hit into a double play.
New York’s Clay Holmes struggled after getting two strikeouts to start the ninth. Sean Murphy reached on catcher’s interference, stole second, took third on a single by Stephen Vogt and scored on a base hit by Elvis Andrus.
Holmes then converted his 13th save in 14 chances when Tony Kemp grounded out.
New York scored its two runs in the opening two innings against Oakland starter Frankie Montas (4-7).
In the first, Trevino followed a two-out double by Donaldson by lining an RBI single to right field. An inning later, Marwin Gonzalez hit a 3-1 sinker into the right-center-field seats for his third homer of the season.
Montas allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two. Tuesday marked the eighth time in his past 11 starts that Oakland scored one run or none.
The A’s fell to 5-19 this month.
–Field Level Media