Yankees 1-3 A’s: Offense fails, Bombers split series

Yankees' starting pitcher Nestor Cortes is pitching against the A's on April 25, 2024 at Yankee Stadium.
John Allen
Thursday April 25, 2024

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New York Yankees 1-3 Oakland Athletics

NEW YORK — Oakland’s closer, Mason Miller, secured his inaugural four-out save by shutting down Aaron Judge with a runner on base. The Athletics narrowly defeated the New York Yankees 3-1 on Thursday night, ensuring a split in the four-game series.

Nick Allen and Tyler Nevin of Oakland both hit home runs in the third inning against Nestor Cortes (1-2). Alex Wood (1-2) adeptly escaped bases-loaded situations in the first and fourth innings.

Although New York out-hit the Athletics 11-6, they struggled to convert with runners in scoring position, going 1 for 7 and leaving 11 runners stranded on base.

Frustration Mounts as Miller Shuts Down Yankees’ Rally in Thrilling Save

Mason Miller decisively shut down the Yankees’ comeback bid in the eighth inning on Thursday.

The 25-year-old right-hander entered the game with a runner on first in the eighth, taking over the situation from T.J. McFarland. He swiftly struck out Jose Trevino with a scorching 101.3 mph fastball, sending a shiver through the Bronx.

The ninth inning started quietly as Oswaldo Cabrera struck out swinging on a Miller curveball for the third strike. Anthony Volpe managed to reach base with a sharply hit infield single, briefly sparking hope among the home crowd. However, Miller remained resolute, striking out the dangerous Juan Soto with another blazing fastball (clocked at 101.9 mph), marking the second time this week he had struck out Soto. A visibly frustrated Soto reacted by slamming his bat.

“There was definitely a buzz in the stadium when they got a runner on base in the ninth,” Miller reflected later. “The adrenaline kicked in for a moment, but I was able to refocus and close it out with another strikeout.”

Aaron Judge‘s flyout to right field on a Miller slider sealed the Yankees’ fate, maintaining the closer’s perfect record in six save opportunities this season.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Mason Miller’s pitching prowess, highlighting his “impressive fastball” and noting the importance of his “sharp slider.” Boone emphasized that Miller’s versatility was a key asset, noting his ability to throw pitches exceeding “100 miles per hour” that appeared even faster to hitters. He indirectly complimented the Athletics, acknowledging they had a formidable closer in Miller at the back end of their bullpen.

Miller displayed remarkable efficiency, requiring only 17 pitches to secure his four outs. His fastball consistently reached an average velocity of 100.8 mph, overpowering eight out of the ten batters he faced in the series (resulting in six strikeouts). Throughout this season, Miller has been nearly untouchable in relief, delivering eight consecutive scoreless outings. During this impressive streak, he has retired an outstanding 31 out of 38 hitters, striking out an impressive 22 of them.

Frustrating Offense Stalled by A’s Pitching Despite Historic Feat

The Yankees’ offense struggled again on Thursday, managing just one run against Oakland’s pitching staff. This extended the streak to seven games and marked the 17th time this season that the Athletics have held their opponents to three runs or fewer.

Despite the offensive challenges, the Athletics continued their power surge, hitting a home run for the tenth consecutive game. Trevino’s second-inning blast, the shortest home run in the majors this season, briefly tied the score.

To make matters worse for the Yankees, two players with family ties to their organization contributed to Oakland’s offense. Allen, the son-in-law of manager Aaron Boone’s brother, hit his first home run since August to even the score. Nevin, whose father Phil served as a coach under Aaron Boone, followed with a home run to right field.

Oakland’s offense surged in the third inning, fueled by two pivotal home runs that shifted the momentum. Nick Allen launched a towering shot deep into left field, erasing the Yankees’ early lead and tying the game with his first home run since late August—a welcome return to form for the player who is also Boone’s brother-in-law.

Building on the momentum, Tyler Nevin followed with a blast that cleared the short right-field porch, putting the A’s ahead 3-1. Notably, Nevin’s father, Phil Nevin, had previously served as the Yankees’ bench coach under Aaron Boone from 2018 to 2021, adding an intriguing connection to the go-ahead homer.

On the mound, Alex Wood delivered a strong performance, holding the Yankees to just one run on eight hits. His outing significantly improved his ERA, dropping it from 7.89 to a more respectable 6.59. In contrast, Nestor Cortes struggled for the Yankees, yielding three runs and five hits over seven innings.

The Yankees roster

Up next

Luis Gil, sporting a 2.75 ERA, will take the mound for New York in the series opener in Milwaukee on Friday. The right-hander secured his first win in nearly three years last Sunday and aims to build on his strong start against Colin Rea (2-0, 2.08 ERA) of the Brewers.

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