The New York Yankees were active buyers on Monday in an attempt to bolster the pitching staff of the best team in baseball.
Other moves may occur ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, which will precede the second contest of a three-game series against the visiting Seattle Mariners.
The Yankees, who are 4-1 in their past five games, opened the set with a 7-2 victory. New York’s latest win occurred after the Yankees acquired starter Frankie Montas and reliever Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics and reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs.
“It’s a good feeling,” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said of the team’s transactions. “It’s tough to describe because you usually don’t focus on that, you just focus on playing. But kind of getting that backing from the front office knowing that, hey, you put yourself in position to be in a good spot coming down the stretch going into the postseason, it kind of boosts guys a little bit.”
After the deals, Anthony Rizzo homered for the third straight game, hitting a three-run shot in the first inning, before Judge continued his torrid pace with a two-run drive in the second inning. Judge increased his major-league-leading home run total to 43.
Rizzo has four long balls in his past six contests after a 14-game homerless stretch. Judge, meanwhile, is on pace for 67 — six more than the team record set by Roger Maris in 1961 — and has 10 homers since the All-Star and 13 in his past 16 games.
“What he’s doing is something beyond special in this day and age of baseball,” Rizzo said.
Besides attempting to prevent Judge’s next home run, the Mariners will attempt to find some productive offense without injured regulars Julio Rodriguez and Ty France. Seattle is two games into Rodriguez’s injured-list stint caused by a bruised right wrist, and France missed his second straight contest with a sore left wrist.
Seattle is 4-7 since the break after ending the first half with a 14-game winning streak to get back into the postseason race. In two games without Rodriguez, the dynamic rookie and leading hitter, the Mariners have 11 hits and 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
“Not having a couple of our bigger offensive players in there, we got to find ways to get a big hit,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Logan Gilbert (10-4, 2.78 ERA), who is 0-1 despite a 2.65 ERA over his past three starts, takes the ball for Seattle on Tuesday.
Gilbert has allowed two runs or fewer in 13 of his 21 starts, including a no-decision in Houston on Thursday, when he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.
Gilbert’s lone start against the Yankees came on July 8, 2021, in Seattle, when he allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings. He struck out eight without issuing a walk.
Jameson Taillon (10-2, 3.72), who has allowed one run in 12 innings over his past two home starts, will start for the Yankees on Tuesday. Taillon gave up four hits in six innings in a no-decision during New York’s 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
Since taking a perfect game into the eighth inning June 2 against the Los Angeles Angels, Taillon is 4-1 with a 5.36 ERA in 10 starts.
Taillon is 2-0 with 1.38 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners.