Yankees sweep Reds with 4-1 victory, Boone ejected

Harrison Bader Yankees
New York Yankees’ Harrison Bader celebrates with teammates following a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, May 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

The New York Yankees ended their tense series with the Cincinnati Reds by holding onto a 4-1 win. It earned the Yankees a series week and allowed them to complete their road trip with a 6-1 record. 

This was the second straight drama-filled series for the Yankees, who came off a contentious series in Toronto that included allegations of sign stealing and Domingo Germán’s ejection for sticky substances and testy exchanges. In the first game of the series in Cincinnati, New York starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt was instructed to wash his hands after the umps found something during a spot check that they felt was close enough to a “sticky substance” to permit Schmit to pitch with it. 

Cincinnati manager David Bell was ejected arguing that Schmidt should have been immediately ejected in keeping with Rule 6.02(c), 2-7 (pages 92 and 93 here). The rule essentially states that a pitcher cannot have a foreign substance on his hands while pitching and that the penalty for this is an automatic ejection. 

The tense series continued on Sunday afternoon when Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected in the first inning by plate umpire Emil Jimenez. 

After Jonathan India started the game with a two-out walk, Spencer Speer later came up with two outs and hit a fly ball down the right-field line that Yankees outfielder Jake Bauers slid to try and catch it. The ball bounced off his glove but was originally ruled foul. The Reds challenged and won the review after it was revealed that the ball bounced off of Bauers’ glove and landed fair, allowing India to score. 

“I was just at first trying to get an explanation of why and they just say you can’t argue that,” Boone said after the game. “I shouldn’t have gotten kicked out there because, in the end, I think it was probably the right thing.”

It was the third time Boone was ejected this season and the 29th ejection of his managerial career.

Aaron Boone Yankees
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, right, speaks with umpire Brian O’Nora in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, May 21, 2023. Boone was ejected by home plate umpire Emil Jimenez. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

In the bottom of the eighth inning, it was Bell’s turn as the Cincinnati manager took issue with an apparent quick pitch from Yankees’ Wandy Peralta and then was also ejected. 

“I wasn’t able to get an explanation,” Bell said.

Still, the Yankees were able to maintain their composure through the drama and used a two-run home run by Harrison Bader in the top of the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish. 

Gleyber Torres added a home run of his own in the top of the 6th and then Anthony Volpe doubled in new Yankee Greg Allen to finish the scoring in the 7th inning. The win extended the Yankees’ winning streak to four games for the first time this season.

“I think we learned a lot about ourselves this road trip,” Harrison Bader said after the game. “If we didn’t already know it prior to having stuff go a little sideways, have some high energy that was kind of away from the game of baseball, we learned it now.”

“Bader hit a changeup,” said Red starting pitcher Hunter Greene. “Everyone knows I’m working on it but still had a lot of success with it in a lot of situations.”

One of the Reds’ most promising young pitchers, Hunter Greene is still winless in 10 starts this season. On Sunday, he gave up four runs, four hits, and three walks despite matching his season high with 10 strikeouts.

On the other side, the Yankees welcomed back former ace Luis Severino, who was making his season debut after suffering a strained lat muscle that had sidelined him since spring training. Severino was on a strict pitch count, but he threw well, allowing one run and four hits in 4.2 innings while tallying five strikeouts on his 75 pitches. He averaged 96.7 mph on his fastball and had a 33% whiff rate on his change-up. 

“I was finding the zone,” Severino said after the game. “Changeup was really good. Got some swings on the breaking ball.”

After Severino left the game, Albert Abreu got four straight outs, which qualified him for the win to move to 2-1 on the series. Jimmy Cordero pitched a perfect seventh and Peralta a 1-2-3 eighth. However, things got dicier in the ninth inning. 

Jake Fraley got things started off against Clay Holmes with a one-out single before Spencer Steer followed with a single of his own. After Holmes struck out Nick Senzel, he walked Stuart Fairchild on four pitches to bring Will Benson to the plate as the winning run. 

On the third pitch of the at-bat, Benson hit a sinker into the ground right back at Holmes, who tosses it to first and secured his fifth save in seven chances, but his first save since April 12th.

It continued a dominant stretch for the Yankees bullpen, as the relievers threw 14.2 scoreless innings during the series and currently have the best bullpen ERA in the majors at 2.87. 

The Yankees will return home on Tuesday as they take on the Baltimore Orioles, who currently sit in second place in the AL East. Gerrit Cole will start against Kyle Bradish. 

For more Yankees coverage, visit amNY Sports

Gleyber Torres Yankees
New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres watches his solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Cincinnati, Sunday, May 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)