Germán strong following Kluber, Yanks shut out Rangers again
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Domingo Germán wasn’t in the stadium for Corey Kluber’s no-hitter the night before, yet still shared the anxious moments watching on TV.
No such no-no drama for the Yankees right-hander — just another strong pitching performance for New York in another shutout of the Texas Rangers.
Germán pitched seven scoreless innings, Gio Urshela and Aaron Judge delivered RBI singles as pinch-hitters in the seventh inning and the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Thursday.
New York won its sixth straight series and at 25-19 moved a season-high six games over .500. Yankees pitchers have thrown seven shutouts in the team’s first 44 games for the first time since 1967.
“They can pitch, man,” manager Aaron Boone said of his rotation. “Obviously the bullpen’s been there to complement them and been terrific all year, as well. I love where the starters are at right now and the way they’re throwing the ball as a group.”
Texas had at least one hit in each of the first five innings, starting with Nick Solak’s one-out single in the first, a day after Kluber pitched the major leagues’ sixth no-hitter this season.
But Texas didn’t get a runner past second base against Germán (4-2), who finished with two perfect innings and allowed six hits with five strikeouts as New York pitching finished the four-game series with 22 consecutive scoreless innings.
“You understand what’s going on so when you’re watching the game, you’re nervous,” Germán said of watching Kluber on TV. “You want it to happen. Sure, everybody wants to have a no-hitter or a perfect game. I think I have the ability to do so.”
Kluber and Germán gave Yankees their first back-to-back starts of at least seven shutout innings since Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka at Boston on April 26-27, 2017.
Germán threw a career-high 26 changeups, holding the Rangers to 2 for 10 on that pitch, and improved to 4-0 in his last six starts.
“Kind of tough following up a no-hitter,” Judge said. “Domingo was right there. All his pitches were working. That changeup is nasty. Just all around a great showing by him.”
Chad Green pitched a perfect eighth, and Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the ninth for his 11th save in 11 chances as the Yankees matched the score from Kluber’s gem. Chapman struck out pinch-hitter Khris Davis on a 101.6 mph pitch for the final out.
Boone intended to give Urshela and Judge the day off after a night game, but Urshela replaced Mike Ford with one out and two on in a scoreless game against left-handed reliever John King (4-3).
Urshela’s liner to right landed just in front of David Dahl to score former Ranger Rougned Odor, who was activated from the paternity list before the game and opened the seventh by getting hit by a pitch.
Two batters later, Judge — batting for No. 9 hitter Tyler Wade — grounded his first hit in 10 career pinch at-bats into center to score Gary Sánchez. The Yankees won with all their runs scoring on two pinch hits for the first time since Enos Slaughter and Bill Skowron in a 2-1 win at Baltimore on Aug. 1, 1954.
“Credit to them, ready to go, both Gio and AJ,” Boone said. “Both knew the situation coming up, prepared for it. Go up and have really good at-bats to be the difference in the game today.”
The Yankees finished the first of two 10-game trips, their longest of the season, at 7-3 after winning three straight against the Rangers, who have lost nine of 10 since reaching .500 for the second time this season.
“The only thing that stood out to me was that we were a little bit tentative in a lot of ways,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “We were tentative on the bases. We were tentative in the outfield. We were tentative in the batter’s box. Those are things that don’t represent us. I’d rather lose going down fighting.”
The best early threat for the Yankees when they hit into one of their two double plays, giving them seven in the final two games of the series and a major league-high 48.
Ford and Miguel Andújar started the New York third with consecutive singles. With one out, DJ LeMahieu grounded wide of first, and Nate Lowe threw to Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the out at second. With nobody on the bag at first, the Texas shortstop threw to Charlie Culberson at third, where Ford had rounded the bag and couldn’t scramble back before the tag.
Texas starter Dane Dunning struck out six in six scoreless innings for his third outing of at least four scoreless innings. He has no-decisions in all three scoreless outings and just one victory since his first start April 6.
Yankees: Boone said RF Ryan LaMarre’s right hamstring injury appeared pretty significant. LaMarre, who was injured Wednesday, went on the 10-day injured list, making room for Odor.
Rangers: LHP Joely Rodríguez has been dealing with discomfort in the area of his left collarbone, but Woodward said the club expected the reliever to be available without restrictions Friday.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 4.75 ERA) is scheduled for the opener of a three-game home series against the Chicago White Sox. Montgomery allowed a season-high five runs in three innings in his previous start, a 10-6 loss to Baltimore.
Rangers: RHP Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.32) is set for the opener of a three-game home series against Houston. The Astros swept a four-game set in Houston last weekend. Gibson had a no-decision in the series finale, allowing two runs in seven innings.