DJ LeMahieu said he felt “close” to clicking after Friday’s loss to the Padres, but he didn’t have the results to show for it. That changed Saturday.
LeMahieu, who entered the game slashing .133/.188/.133 with zero extra-base hits over his last 32 plate appearances, generated the Yankees’ first two runs against San Diego on Sunday. That set the stage for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, whose walk-off single in the 10th inning off Fordham product Nick Martinez shut the door on a 3-2, series-tying, Yankees win in the Bronx.
LeMahieu started his day with an RBI single off Michael Wacha in the first inning. Wacha, a Yankees killer, settled in for a while after that, but LeMahieu got to the right-hander again in the seventh when he tied the game at two with a solo home run. The liner was LeMahieu’s first longball since May 10 and his first extra-base hit since May 16.
While LeMahieu had Wacha’s number Saturday, the veteran only surrendered those two runs over seven innings. He struck out four and walked none.
Luis Severino, meanwhile, looked sharp in his second start of the season. Pitching in front of the home crowd for the first time this year, the righty held the Padres to one earned run over 6.2 innings. He walked three and struck out five while tallying 82 pitches.
Severino’s one earned run stemmed from a Fernando Tatis Jr. homer in the fourth inning. It was El Nino’s second dinger of a series in which he’s heard plenty of boos and chants of “steroids” from Yankees fans.
Severino exited in the seventh following an error from Gleyber Torres. Michael King took over from there, and Ha-Seong Kim proceeded to hit an RBI single that gave the Padres a 2-1 lead. But LeMahieu tied things up in the bottom of the inning.
The Yankees and Padres will wrap up their East-West showdown on Sunday when Gerrit Cole takes the ball for the pinstripers.
Cole is coming off a poor outing against the Orioles, as he allowed five earned runs and two homers on May 23 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees ace is 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 67.2 innings and 11 starts this season.
The Padres will send Yu Darvish to the mound, making for an exciting pitching matchup. Darvish is 3-3 this season with a 3.67 ERA and 57 strikeouts. He’s logged 54 innings over nine starts.