Yankees back up Domingo German with some thump to beat Dodgers


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Jan 20, 2024

Yankees back up Domingo German with some thump to beat Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES — The first two games of a highly anticipated series featured the Dodgers, then the Yankees, flexing their offensive muscles.

Sunday's rubber match was much more of a nail-biter, following a tense script befitting the Hollywood stage.

But on a day they were without Aaron Judge, the Yankees scratched across just enough offense to make sure Domingo German's gem did not go to waste — and then added some thump for a little breathing room in the ninth — pulling out a 4-1 win over the Dodgers to claim the series at Dodger Stadium.

"It's a really, really good team we’re going up against, so to take the series the way we did and play the way we did [was] huge," Anthony Volpe said after his first multi-hit game since May 14, including a two-run homer in the ninth inning.

The victory finished off a 4-2 West Coast trip in style, with the Yankees (36-25) continuing to play quality baseball even while battling injuries, with Judge's sore right big toe their latest concern.

"Man, the guys did so many things well tonight," manager Aaron Boone said. "Just a really good all-around effort, lot of winning things happening in that game."

After scoring all 10 of their runs on seven home runs through the first two games against the Dodgers (35-25), the Yankees turned to some small-ball to push across their first two runs on Sunday.

With a runner on third and one out in each of the seventh and eighth innings, the Yankees used the contact play and a pair of weak-enough groundouts to score both of their runs.

In the seventh, after a well-placed bunt by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and an ensuing throwing error put runners on second and third, it was a 68.9 mph broken-bat grounder to shortstop by Kyle Higashioka that scored Jake Bauers from third for the 1-0 lead.

Then in the eighth, after a rocket double from Giancarlo Stanton put runners on second and third, it was a 60.2 mph chopper to second base by Oswaldo Cabrera that scored Anthony Rizzo from third to put the Yankees back on top 2-1.

"Not-hit-well helps, and when the fielder's gotta move a little, that's what you’re selling out for," Boone said. "Good job by the base runners there and good job of not hitting it too hard by Oswaldo and Higgy."

In between, German had been one strike away from completing seven shutout innings and protecting the 1-0 lead.

But he left an 0-2 curveball over the plate and J.D. Martinez made him pay for it, crushing a solo home run to left field that tied the game.

It spoiled what was an otherwise strong night for German, who gave up just four hits and one walk while striking out six across 6 ²/₃ sharp innings.

He was locked into a pitchers’ duel most of the night with Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller, a hard-throwing rookie who allowed just one hit (a Volpe single) across six shutout innings.

Clay Holmes relieved German and combined with Wandy Peralta to send the game to the ninth with the Yankees clinging to the 2-1 lead.

Volpe, who entered the day 6-for-56 with 22 strikeouts over his last 17 games, delivered a clutch two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth for some much-needed insurance.

Peralta then shut it down in the bottom of the ninth — helping himself by picking off Will Smith at first after his leadoff walk — to secure the series victory and send the Yankees home feeling good about themselves on their cross-country flight.

"Credit to a lot of different people," Boone said. "Obviously Judge and Rizzo and Gleyber [Torres] have just been constants for us in their consistency, but we’ve gotten contributions all over the place from guys that aren't even still here. Some winning things are happening, which is good."

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