Sears smashes Major League-best Yankees past low A’s 2-1

NEW YORK (AP) — JP Sears extended his scoreless series in the big league to 12 2/3 innings to win his second starting spot to lift the Major League lead New York Yankees about the worst in majors Oakland Athletics 2-1 Tuesday-evening for their 15th win in 19 games.

With number 92, the highest shirt number in Yankees history for a starting pitcher, Sears (3-0) limited the A’s to three hits in 5 2/3 innings, struckout one and walked one.

Josh Donaldson supported him with an RBI-double in the first off trade candidate Frankie Montas (3-8) and Marwin Gonzalez homered in the second.

After two interference calls from the catcher against Sean Murphy on Monday, Murphy reached on an interference call to Jose Trevino with two outs in the ninth on a grounder to second base, ending the game ‘New York’ , New York.”

pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt singled to get runners on the corners and Elvis Andrus singled on an RBI off Clay Holmes that narrowed the lead to one. Holmes eliminated Tony Kemp on a groundout, stranding two runners and giving up his 13th save in 14 chances.

New York improved to 55-20 and 35 games over .500 in the season, en route to the best start of 75 games for the majors since the Seattle Mariners in 2001.

Oakland jettisoned many of its best players in March as part of a planned rebuild, dropping to 25-51 with its 31st loss in 41 games. The A’s are hitting .210, on track to break the major league low of .211 set by the 1910 Chicago White Sox dead-ball era.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected in the eighth for claiming plate umpire Stu Scheurwater called out strikes on 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge who were under the zone.

Sears, an 11th round draft pick from Seattle in 2017, was acquired after that season in a trade for righthander Nick Rumbelow, whose last big league appearance was three years ago. Sears reached Triple-A last season and this year has an ERA of 1.83 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The 26-year old lefthander earned a spot on the extended opening day of the Yankees, playing twice in one inning before being eliminated on April 18. Sears got his first Major League-start against Baltimore on May 25 after a rainout caused New York to reset its rotation. For him, Alfredo Aceves’ number 91 was the highest total for a Yankees starting pitcher.

New York brought Sears back to give Luis Severino, Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes and Jordan Montgomery extra rest after a 13-game run against division rivals Tampa Bay and Toronto, along with AL West leading Houston. The Yankees were the only team in the majors not to have a sixth pitcher start multiple times.

Throwing up to 95.7 mph, Sears mixed fastballs, sliders and changeups between 78 pitches, nibbling at the corners as he threw 48 strikes.

Montas ended the Yankees’ season-high 13-game winning streak last August. Last Thursday in Seattle, he didn’t give up a basehit until Adam Frazier singled on his 92nd pitch with two outs in the eighth. This time, Donaldson doubled on Montas’ 21st pitch and Gonzalez homered on 38, driving a sinker to the rightfield seats.

Montas gave up four hits in six innings, struckout seven and walked two. He has a 3.20 ERA but Oakland has been eliminated three times, scoring one run six times in his 16 starts.

HE’S BACK

Stephen Piscotty was 0 for 3 as Oakland’s designated batter in his return from a strained left calf that had sidelined him since May 6.

MOVE UP

Oakland rookie 2B Nick Allen hit a leadoff in the major leagues for the first time, going 1 for 4. Allen is engaged to Savannah Boone, niece of the Yankees manager and daughter of former Major Leaguer Bret Boone. A wedding is planned for November 23, 2023.

SNAP

LHP Manny Bañuelos was designated by the Yankees to clear a spot for Sears. Bañuelos had a 2.16 ERA in four relief appearances with New York, pitching with pinstripes 14 years after signing with the organization and seven years after being traded. “It was a pleasure to be around him every day,” said Aaron Boone. “We really think he can throw.”

TRAINERS ROOM

Athletics: OF Jonah Bride was put on the 10-day injured list retroactively to Monday, a day after he injured his right shoulder and cut his nose in a collision with Chad Pinder. Manager Mark Kotsay said Bride had an MRI on Tuesday.

Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres said his right wrist, which he injured during a hard swing, felt better Monday after a cortisone shot. Torres hopes to play Wednesday, although Thursday may be more realistic. He said his sprained right ankle was good enough to play on. … LHP Aroldis Chapman struckout two batters in a 1-2-3 inning for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in his third rehab appearance and will be activated this week. In the IL due to left Achilles tendonitis, Chapman last pitched for the Yankees on May 22. … RHP Domingo Germán, who has been sidelined with a right shoulder collision since spring practice, gave up two hits in 3 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no runs for Double-A Somerset in his second rehab start.

NEXT ONE

Taillon (8-1, 3.19 ERA) will enter the series final for New York on Wednesday after going 4-0 in the past seven starts. Oakland LHP Cole Irvin (2-5, 3.29) is 0-4 in seven starts since an IL stint caused by left shoulder pain.

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