Bristol, TN – The Yankees got back to their winning ways on Wednesday night as they beat the Bristol Pirates 6-2 in the first of a two game series.
The Yankees threw one of their best arms in right-hander Reid Anderson who got an extra day of rest before tonight’s game. Yankees manager Luis Dorante and his staff decided not to throw Anderson in his scheduled rotation spot yesterday and instead opted to have him go today against the Pirates. Pulaski gave their pitcher some run support early on as they pushed a run across in the top of the first inning to lead 1-0.
Anderson cruised through the first six innings allowing just two hits as the Yankees held on to their 1-0 lead. Pulaski added to their lead in the top of the seventh off the bat of catcher Gustavo Campero. He entered the game with an 11 game hitting streak and only trailed Bristol’s Jake Snider for the longest streak in the league at 12 games and he wasn’t in the Pirates lineup tonight. Campero was 0-3 on the night before hitting a solo home run to lead off the Yankees half of the seventh inning and put them up 2-0.
Anderson gave up a lead off single that was caught trying to steal second base before he issued his second walk of the night and was then removed. The one out in the bottom of the seventh made Anderson the first starter this season for the Yankees to record an out in the seventh and gave him the longest outing of the year in what will probably be his last start of the regular season. Kevin Milam replaced Anderson and inherited his runner with the one out. Milam gave up a triple to the first batter he faced to score one run and cut the deficit in half with the tying run on third base. The ball just seemed to get lost in the lights for Yankees right fielder Ryder Green and he couldn’t come up with it in the air. That run then came around to score to even the game and it seemed the Yanks bullpen might let them down for the second time in as many days.
Bristol made a pitching change of their own in the top of the eighth inning and was treated to an unpleasant welcome from Madison Santos who hit a lead off home run and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Santos has now hit a home run in three straight games and is starting to get hot at the right time for Pulaski. Two batters later, Roberto Chirinos also hit a solo home run to put the Yanks up by another run. Chirinos hit a home run on Sunday against Johnson City and he is also starting to heat up as of late for a guy who is consistently in the top few spots of the lineup.
Milam returned to the mound and got the first two batters out before giving up back-to-back singles. He finished the inning strong though and got Fancisco Acuna to pop out to end the inning and kept the two-run lead in tact.
Santos added another two RBIs to his box score in the top of the ninth with a triple and put the Yanks ahead 6-2. Milam pitched the ninth inning and faced the minimum after a pop out, a single and then a double play to end the game and gave the Yanks the win.
The win was important for Pulaski who is still in a tight division race with the Burlington Royals for the east division crown. Burlington lost their game earlier in the day to Danville and with the win, Pulaski now has a four game lead in the division. The Yanks will head to Burlington to play a three game series after tonight’s series ends against the Pirates. The Yankees magic number to clinch the division title currently sits at four games.