Cotton had spotted the Yankees an early 1-0 lead, thanks to some wildness in the first inning. Second baseman Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly to right-field, scoring catcher Gary Sanchez, who had walked earlier in the inning. Sanchez advanced to second, when Cotton hit Matt Holliday with a pitch and both runners moved up on a wild pitch, setting the stage for Castro’s sac fly.
Cotton and Yankees counterpart CC Sabathia matched zeroes on the scoreboard until the bottom of the sixth inning. Cotton’s pitch-count was climbing, thanks to his own lack of command and Yankees batters making him work. However, no Yankees batters had recorded a hit. After two quick outs, Gary Sanchez reached base with another walk, bringing up Holliday. On a 1-0 pitch, the 105th of the afternoon for Cotton, Holliday deposted a home-run into the A’s bullpen in left/center field, putting the Yankees ahead 3-1.
Two pitches later, Starlin Castro singled, ending the day for Cotton. Those would be the only two hits the Yankees would have for the entire game.
The A’s wouldn’t go away easily, however. Tyler Clippard was on the hill to start the top of the 8th inning. On a 2-2 pitch to the first batter, Jed Lowrie, he struck him out looking. It was the third time Lowrie was rung-up by home plate umpire Will Little, with some pitches being rather questionable, and he blew his stack. Little thumbed him out quickly, but Lowrie had his say. Khris Davis was next, and he walked on a 3-2 count. The following batter, Ryon Healy hit a 1-1 pitch for a double to left, driving Clippard from the game.
Yanks manager Joe Girardi had closer Dellin Betances warming up as Clippard started the inning, and this proved to be a wise decision. Betances came in, and quickly extinguished the fire Clip started. He followed that up by pitching a quick 1-2-3 9th inning, capped striking out Matt Joyce to end the game.
Video highlights courtesy of MLB.
Michael Pineda faces off against A’s starter Andrew Triggs in afternoon’s series finale at 1:00 eastern. It can be seen on YES Network.
See ya next time!