HOUSTON (AP) — Brett Gardner tied a career-high with six RBIs and his seventh-inning grand slam helped the New York Yankees cruise to a 13-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The Yankees started off slow, and trailed by two entering the sixth inning, after arriving at their hotel in Houston about 6 a.m. following an almost three-hour rain delay before the start of their game against the White Sox on Thursday night.
They finally broke through in that inning, collecting five hits — all singles — and sending 10 batters to the plate to take a 6-3 lead.
Gardner, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, drove in the go-ahead run in that inning before connecting off James Hoyt an inning later on his two-out, two-strike shot to right field to make it 10-3.
Yankees starter Michael Pineda (8-4) yielded seven hits and three runs — two earned — in six innings for his first win since June 8. Bryan Mitchell allowed two hits and one run in three innings for his first save.
Houston starter Lance McCullers allowed six hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list. Michael Feliz (4-2) allowed four hits and three runs in 1/3 inning for the loss.
There was a runner on first with one out in the sixth when Austin Romine drew a walk to chase McCullers. He was replaced by Feliz, who was greeted by an RBI single from Ronald Torreyes, which cut the lead to one. Chris Carter, who was in his first game back since rejoining the team after being designated for assignment a week ago, hit an RBI single with two outs to tie it.
Another single, this one from Gardner, scored Torreyes to put the Yankees on top. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with yet another single to send another run home and push the lead to 5-3. Ellsbury took second and Gardner went to third on the play thanks to an error by outfielder George Springer.
Feliz walked Aaron Judge on a wild pitch which allowed another run to score and leave the Yankees up 6-3.
Springer hit a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Altuve with one out in the first to give Houston a 1-0 lead.
Gardner doubled to start the third and the Yankees tied it 1-1 when he scored on a two-out double by DiDi Gregorius.
Houston took a 2-1 lead when Altuve scored on a groundout by Carlos Beltran for the second out in the fourth inning. Marwin Gonzalez pushed the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single.
Yankees: OF Dustin Fowler was expected to leave the hospital on Friday, a day after undergoing surgery for a serious knee injury he suffered crashing into a low wall trying to catch a foul ball in his major league debut in Chicago. The outfielder ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee in the first inning on Thursday night.
Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (strained back muscle) will make one more rehabilitation start in the minors before rejoining the team next week in Toronto. Morton has made two starts at Triple-A Fresno and his last rehabilitation start will be at Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday.
AOKI ON THE MOUND
Veteran Astros OF Nori Aoki made his first career pitching appearance in the ninth inning on Friday night. The 35-year-old allowed one hit with two walks and three runs while throwing mostly in the high 70s.
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (6-4, 3.53 ERA) will start for New York on Saturday. He won his fourth straight decision in his last start by allowing five hits and one run while fanning eight in seven innings of a win over the White Sox.
Astros: Rookie Francis Martes (2-0, 5.51) is scheduled to start for Houston on Saturday. Martes struggled in his last start, allowing two hits and two runs with four walks in two innings of an 8-2 win over Seattle.
(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)