NEW YORK (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius came off the bench and hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning, sending the New York Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
Gary Sanchez added a leadoff home run in the eighth, CC Sabathia pitched three-hit ball for 6 1/3 innings and the Yankees helped their unexpected playoff push by winning for the eighth time in 10 games.
New York began the night two games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card.
Prized rookie Julio Urias was pulled in the fourth by the Dodgers, who had won seven of nine before their latest offensive flop against left-handed pitching.
They entered play with a four-game lead in the NL West over San Francisco, which hosted San Diego later.
In the series finale Wednesday afternoon, Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw makes his first career start at Yankee Stadium.
The 20-year-old Urias, outdone by a fellow lefty 16 years his senior, threw 78 pitches in what is expected to be his final start this season. Los Angeles plans to put Urias in the bullpen to limit his innings and get him ready for his potential postseason role.
Sabathia struck out seven and walked one as the Yankees rebounded from an 8-2 loss in the series opener, when starter Bryan Mitchell lasted only 2 1/3 innings.
Adam Warren (3-1) retired both batters he faced, and Dellin Betances got four outs for his 11th save.
Ellsbury originally was rested against the left-hander, but entered in the fifth when rookie right fielder Aaron Judge exited with an injury.
With one out in the seventh, Ellsbury drove a hanging breaking ball from right-hander Ross Stripling (4-7) into the second deck in right field to snap a scoreless tie.
Gregorius, out of the starting lineup again because of a sore rib, connected on Stripling’s next pitch for his first career pinch-hit homer.
Sanchez went the opposite way against Jesse Chavez, the rookie’s 14th home run in 136 at-bats this year. Starlin Castro had three hits for New York.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson, on the disabled list with a blister on his index finger, is scheduled to make a rehab start Friday for Triple-A Oklahoma City in Game 3 of the Pacific Coast League championship series against El Paso. … RHP Brandon McCarthy (right hip stiffness) and LHP Alex Wood (elbow impingement) will throw in simulated game situations this week in Arizona, manager Dave Roberts said. … Roberts said he thinks LHP Scott Kazmir (neck inflammation) is shut down at this point following a setback last week during his rehab start at Oklahoma City. … LF Yasiel Puig appeared shaken up after he fouled a pitch back in the first. He was checked by a trainer after another foul ball a few pitches later, but remained in the game. … Justin Turner was the DH, and Howie Kendrick started at third base. Andre Ethier probably will be the DH on Wednesday, Roberts said.
Yankees: Judge was removed with a right oblique strain and will have an MRI on Wednesday. “We won’t see him for a while,” manager Joe Girardi said. Judge was batting in the fourth when he was checked by Girardi and a trainer, but initially stayed in and drew a walk. … Ellsbury might start against all three lefties in Boston this weekend, Girardi said.
Dodgers: Kershaw (11-3, 1.89 ERA) is set to make his second start since missing more than two months with a back injury. The ace left-hander threw 66 pitches over three innings last Friday in a 4-1 loss at Miami, but Roberts wouldn’t say how many Kershaw might throw this time. “It’ll be more than his last start,” Roberts said. “We expect Clayton to be Clayton.”
Kershaw has faced the Yankees twice at Dodger Stadium, allowing two earned runs over 15 innings (1.20 ERA) in a pair of no-decisions — the last in July 2013.
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (6-11, 5.07) is 0-1 with a 4.65 ERA in his past six starts.
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