EditorsNote: Adds “the” in 9th graf
Gary Sanchez broke open a tight game with his first career grand slam and left-hander J.A. Happ pitched seven shutout innings Saturday afternoon as the visiting New York Yankees beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 in an interleague game.
The win was New York’s fifth in six games at the start of a nine-game trip and, combined with a 7-3 win in the series opener on Friday night, gives them a shot Sunday at the first sweep in the history of the Yankees-Giants rivalry.
With the Yankees up just 1-0, Cameron Maybin and Thairo Estrada opened the fifth inning with singles off Giants starter Derek Holland (1-4).
After Happ bunted into a fielder’s choice at third base, Holland got ahead of DJ LeMahieu before losing control.
He threw three consecutive balls to walk LeMahieu, loading the bases, and then hit Luke Voit with a pitch to force in a run.
Holland got ahead of Sanchez 1-2 before the powerful catcher blasted a 467-foot rocket to left-center field, clearing the bases for a 6-0 lead.
Sanchez’s homer was his seventh of the year.
That was more than sufficient support for Happ (1-2), who got into just two jams in his seven innings. He allowed five hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Luis Cessa worked a 1-2-3 eighth to extend the combined shutout bid, but then served up inning-opening singles to Brandon Belt and Buster Posey in the ninth before Yangervis Solarte smacked a three-run homer to keep the Giants hopes alive.
The homer was Solarte’s first with the Giants.
Cessa stayed on to retire Brandon Crawford for a second out, but pinch-hitter Erik Kratz then made it 6-4 with a homer, also his first as a Giants.
The Yankees were forced to summon closer Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen, and he struck out Pablo Sandoval for his fifth save.
With four hits in the ninth inning, the Giants outhit the Yankees 9-8.
Gio Urshela collected three of New York’s eight hits, including two doubles.
Posey and Solarte had two hits each for the Giants, who lost their second in a row to kick off a six-game homestand.
Holland, now 1-8 in his career against the Yankees, went five innings, allowing six runs and six hits. He walked three and struck out six.
—Field Level Media