It probably seemed like a good idea at the time when Aaron Boone used David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman in Sunday night’s blowout win over the Red Sox. The trio needed work. But that decision and Monday’s 11-inning loss to the Braves left the Yankees’ bullpen in a state of exhaustion in the late innings of Tuesday night’s game at the Stadium.
With Domingo German lasting only 4 1⁄3 innings, Boone got big outs from A.J. Cole, Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve to get the game to the bottom of the eighth with the Yankees holding a one-run lead after they had been up by six.
Then Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer for some breathing room and Chapman, pitching for the third straight night for the first time this season, threw a perfect ninth with two strikeouts as the Yankees beat the Braves, 8-5, before 45,448.
“We’ve seen time and time again us have to scratch and claw our way,” Boone said. “I think the one good thing about this club they’ve shown through the first 80-plus games is we’ve shown the ability to win games in a lot of different ways. Tonight’s game was a little bit different as well.”
Stanton’s home run was his 20th. The win went to Cole (2-0), who threw 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts in relief of German. Chapman notched his 24th save. If there were worries that he was feeling the effects of pitching so often, his 102-mph heater to strike out Freddie Freeman to open the ninth must have put Boone’s mind at ease. “We felt like Chappy was good to go for today,” he said. “We’re just trying to get it to the ninth.”
German was humming along with a 6-0 lead one out into the fifth when Ender Inciarte hit a two-run homer. Ozzie Albies homered on the next pitch. Two singles followed, and German was gone.
Boone was not going to use Betances, Robertson, Chad Green or Jonathan Holder. So in came Cole, who was activated from the disabled list before the game and hadn’t pitched since June 19. He struck out Kurt Suzuki before allowing a single to Ronald Acuña Jr. to load the bases. Cole struck out Tyler Flowers to end the threat and fanned two more in the sixth.
In the seventh, Warren gave up a two-run homer to Nick Markakis to make it 6-5. Stanton crashed into the rightfield fence in an attempt to catch the homer, which hit off the top of the fence.
Stanton, who said he felt the impact on his left shoulder, was briefly checked out by the trainer but remained in the game, which became an important fact when the next batter, Suzuki, sent a drive to the right-centerfield wall. “That’s how it works in baseball,” Stanton said. Showing no fear, he caught the ball at the top of the fence.
Trouble found Warren in the eighth as Johan Camargo and Dansby Swanson hit consecutive one-out singles. Shreve — not a Yankee Stadium fan favorite — struck out Inciarte, got Albies to ground to third and showed some emotion coming off the mound. “It was great, obviously,” Shreve said. “I’m glad he had confidence in me to get the outs.”
The Yankees took a 6-0 lead on the strength of two homers, five walks and a run-scoring wild pitch.
Aaron Hicks got the scoring started with a two-out, two-run homer off Sean Newcomb in the first. It was his 15th homer. Kyle Higashioka picked up his second big-league hit — and second homer — when he went deep to left in the second to make it 3-0.
Bases-loaded walks to Brandon Drury and Higashioka made it 5-0 in the third. Brett Gardner doubled, moved to third on Aaron Judge’s single and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth.