For the second time in as many games, the Yankees jumped out to a lead early as Roberto Chirinos hit a lead off double down the left field line and scored three batters later when Ryder Green hit a single to right field. The Twins took a brief lead in the top of the third inning with a 2-run home run to left field but the Yankees answered back quickly.
The Yankees regained their lead – and didn’t let it go – as they scored two runs in the bottom half of the third inning. Borinquen Mendez returned to the starting lineup after taking a trip back home to Venezuela and earned a walk in his first plate appearance since the fourth game of the year. He came around to score after getting to second on a passed ball before the Yankees drew three straight walks and tied the game at 2-2. The Yankees drew five straight walks in the bottom of the third inning in total to take a 3-2 lead.
Pulaski added another two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Spencer Henson hit his second home run of the season to left field to extend the lead for the Yankees 4-2.
Jake Pries who was selected in the 24th round of the 2019 draft out of UCLA made his debut in right field tonight for the Yankees. He got his first hit of his professional career with a double to center field and added another hit later in the game to give him his first multi-hit game of his career. Mendez stole second and third base after a single before making it across home plate on a Roberto Chirinos ground ball to the Twins second baseman.
The Yankees offense added another three runs in the fifth inning thanks to five hits including doubles from Ryder Green and Spencer Henson in the inning. Henson had a really nice bounce back game at the plate after the June 30th game where he was retired five times at the plate with strikeouts. Tonight he went 2-4 with the home run and drove in two RBIs while also making it all the way around the bases twice himself.
Elizabethton tried to inch closer and closer but just could not. Each time they scored runs in the top half of the inning the Yankees scored runs of their own in the bottom half to keep Elizabethton at bay.
The Yankees were definitely helped by their bats in this game, but the pitchers definitely held their own as well. Ken Waldichuk made his second start of the season tonight and started the game off strong as he recorded two strikeouts in the first inning. After the Twins hit a two-run home run in the top of the third inning off Waldichuk, he kept his composure and fired his fourth and fifth strikeouts consecutively before handing the ball to Manager Luis Dorante as he called on Reid Anderson from the bullpen.
Anderson went 3.1 innings and gave up one run on three hits and struck out two batters to earn his first win of the year in his third appearance. Alex Mejias replaced Anderson in the seventh inning and gave up two runs on two hits. Tyler Johnson pitched the ninth inning for the Yankees and struck out two of the four Twins batters he faced and give the Yankees their second win in a row and guarantee themselves their third series win of the year.
The Yankees and Twins will close out their series tomorrow as the Yankees will close out a seven game home stand with “Fans Are Family” night at the ballpark. Calfee Park will play host to the largest Fourth of July party – albeit just a day early -. There will be a cornhole tournament, hot dog eating contest, s’mores stations around the concourse, and a t-shirt giveaway as the Yankees and their fans stripe out Calfee Park in red, white and blue for a “family” picture. The second of three post game fireworks shows will take place after the final out is recorded so fans can get a jump on their Independence Day festivities. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, online at www.pulaskiyankees.net or by calling the Pulaski Yankees front office at 540-980-1070.