OAKLAND, Calif. — Looking for a bright spot from this trip west?
At least the Yankees bullpen is whole again.
Closer Aroldis Chapman returned to the club from the disabled list Sunday and pitched a clean eighth inning. He struck out Jed Lowrie swinging on a slider, then got Khris Davis, who homered earlier in the game, and Ryon Healy, who homered twice Saturday, on ground outs.
Chapman, 7-for-8 in save chances with a 3.55 ERA before he went to the DL May 13, threw seven of his eight pitches for strikes.
Five of the eight pitches were at least 100 mph.
“Definitely felt good out there,” Chapman said. “The last couple of outings [his simulated game last Wednesday and rehab outing last Friday with Double-A Trenton] were a little shaky as far as location goes. But once I got out there, everything felt good and normal.”
Chapman said, after flying cross-country Saturday and arriving Saturday night, it was important to get an inning.
“That was the plan,” he said.
Beforehand, Joe Girardi defended bringing Chapman nearly 3,000 miles for one game.
“I just think that, if you’re a player that’s being paid to play and you’re eligible, you show up,” Girardi said. “This is something I’ve heard from a couple different people about, ‘You’re going to fly him across the country for one day?’ How many divisions have been lost by one game in the course of history? How many playoff spots have not been guaranteed because of one game? Yeah, it’s not ideal to be all the way out here, yeah, I get that. But he had a travel day where he didn’t play [Saturday]. All our other players had a travel day where they played that day [Thursday]. If you’ve got people available that are the best, you want them here.”
Chapman wasn’t complaining.
“The team needs me, that’s why I’m here,” he said before the game. “Because they need me, I want to be here. I’m ready to go.”
Torres injury update
Top prospect Gleyber Torres, who left Saturday’s game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a hyper-extended left elbow suffered on a play at the plate, will be evaluated by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad on Monday. X-rays taken Saturday night came back negative on the 20-year-old, who was placed on the seven-day DL Sunday morning.
Adams wins again
Chance Adams is 4-2 2.43 ERA in seven starts since his promotion to Triple-A last month. He started the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Buffalo and, with a fastball sitting 92-96 mph, he allowed one run, five hits and three walks in earning the win. Adams struck out four, giving him 48 strikeouts with 18 walks in 40 2⁄3 innings.
“Very aggressive kid,” said one opposing team scout who watched Saturday’s outing. “Above average curveball, wipeout slider at times and changeup is also Major League average. To me, he works too fast with too much effort. Strong kid but runs himself out of gas too quick.”