Yankees grab defeat from jaws of victory, fall 6-5 to O’s


Source: FanGraphs

You know what the worst thing about Friday’s come-from-ahead loss to the Orioles is? It’s that it doesn’t bother me. Usually a loss like that would make me feel annoyed, angry, frustrated, all sorts of things. Instead … nothing. I guess I’ve come to accept the Yankees being bad and am now numb to the brutal losses. Anyway, Friday’s final score was 6-5. Let’s recap with bullet points on this Friday night:

  • OMG Dingers!: For the first time this season, the Yankees hit 3+ home runs in a game away from Yankee Stadium. Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez went back-to-back in the fourth inning, then Austin Romine went deep in the fifth inning. The three homers accounted for four of the team’s five runs. (Beltran’s was a two-run shot.) The Yankees scored their fifth run when Chase Headley singled in Didi Gregorius in the sixth. That gave them what felt like a comfortable 5-2 lead.
  • Nate Loses It: Through the first five innings Nathan Eovaldi made only one mistake, and Chris Davis hit it about 500 feet for a solo homer. The O’s built a run in the second when noted pull hitters Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez took outside pitches the other way. Go figure. Eovaldi was pitching well (again), but things unraveled in the sixth. Four of the first first batters of the inning reached base, the last of which was Matt Wieters, who singled in a pair to cut the deficit to 5-4. That ended Eovaldi’s night.
  • Bad Bullpen: The magic is starting to wear off Kirby Yates. He entered the game with two on and one out in the sixth, then allowed the game-tying run on a Jonathan Schoop double to left. Eovaldi was charged with five runs in 5.1 innings. With the score tied 5-5 in the seventh, in came Dellin Betances, who has been mortal in recent weeks. The O’s pushed across a run on a ground ball single, a flare single to left, and a soft ground ball along the third base line. Not exactly hammered, but still. That’s three straight games with a run for Dellin. He’s on pace for another 81 appearances. Maybe pitching ALL THE TIME is bad and his workload should be lightened?
  • Leftovers: The Yankees had ten hits, including two each by Brett Gardner, Gregorius, and Headley. Gardner also drew a walk. Even with his recent slump, he still leads the team with a .350 OBP … Mark Teixeira left the game in the third inning with a knee injury, forcing Rob Refsnyder to play first base for the first time. He wasn’t tested with anything particularly tough. My guess is we’ll see more of him there going forward … the Yankees have lost seven of their last ten games to drop their postseason odds to 13.3%.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Orioles will continue this series Saturday night (argh). Ivan Nova and Tyler Wright will be on the bump.

Four-run seventh propels Yankees to a 5-4 win over the Tigers

A win! You’d think that, with Yankees leading 5-1 in the 7th and Dellin BetancesAndrew MillerAroldis Chapman potentially lined up, it’d be a breeze to finish. Well, it came awfully close at the end but they held on for a 5-4 victory.

Getty Images

Pineda: Actually Pretty Good Tonight

Michael Pineda was allowing hits from the very first inning. After striking out Cameron Maybin to begin the frame, he allowed back-to-back hits to J.D. Martinez and Miguel Cabrera. Well, you’ve seen this movie before. He went on to allow three runs en route to another loss, right? Wrong. He induced a double play from Victor Martinez to get out of the inning unscathed.

Pineda showed two of his usual traits today – striking out hitters (8 in 5.2 IP) and limiting walks (none allowed). He did allow more hits (7) than innings pitched but he managed to limit the damage to only one earned run. His slider was a plus tonight – generating 13 whiffs with the slider tonight, good for a 40.6% rate. Even based on the eye test, it looked like it had better bite than it looked all season. Encouraging!

Tonight’s outing brought Pineda’s ERA all the way down to… 6.41. Better than it rising, I suppose. I’m assuming they orked on fixing some of the kinks in bullpen sessions. We’ll see if he can sustain today’s success.

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Zero to… Something

The Yankees were being perfecto-d by Matt Boyd through 4.2 IP. Boyd is not a bad pitcher at all but he hasn’t seen much ML success yet, with a 6.85 career ERA in 67.0 IP. Tonight, however, he was pitching pretty well. For the first four innings, he only struck out one but Boyd was inducing soft contact all around. His perfecto broke in the fifth with a Chase Headley walk.

Leading off the sixth, Rob Refsnyder hit a double to break Boyd’s no-no. He advanced to third on an Aaron Hicks fly out and scored on a Jacoby Ellsbury sac fly. Hey, a run! (Remember “too many homers” was a thing? Sigh.) The Yankees actually managed two more hits that inning – singles by Starlin Castro and Carlos Beltran – but did not score any more thanks to a Mark Teixeira strikeout. Fortunately for Yanks, the bats weren’t done.

The Seventh Inning Explosion

The Yankees scored four runs in the seventh. Wait, did I write that right? I did. A-Rod and Headley had back-to-back singles to lead off, setting up runners first and second with no out for Austin Romine. The Yankee catcher hit into a fielder’s choice that ended up resulting with A-Rod being out at third. However, Refsnyder hit the first pitch to left field for an RBI single, giving Yanks a 2-1 lead. Justin Upton seemed to make a good throw from outfield but Nick Castellanos cut off the throw and tried to get the runner out at second. Interesting choice.

The Tigers brought in Bobby Parnell to replace Boyd. Hicks, on the first pitch, hit a grounder that deflected off the glove of a diving Jose Iglesias for an RBI single, 3-1 Yankees. And that was just about the only pitch Parnell threw tonight, as they yanked him immediately for lefty Kyle Ryan to face Ellsbury.

Ellsbury, following the trend of first pitch-hitting, squared up on Ryan’s first offering for a 2-RBI triple. 5-1 Yanks. That’s probably the most fun I’ve had watching the Bombers in awhile. The Yankees very much needed an offensive inning like this and they got one.

Walking the Ropes

So the Betances – Miller – Chapman trio of Yankee bullpen is supposed to be pretty reliable, right? Well, they usually are but tonight, each of them had a little bit of a hard time. They all each gave up an earned run, which kinda cut it close because they turned a 5-1 lead to a 5-4 finish.

Betances started the seventh and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia on four pitches to start it off. On a 2-2 count, Betances allowed an RBI double to Mike Aviles, making it 5-2. After having a little command issue early, he went on to (casually) strike out three straight hitters to get out of the inning.

Miller came in the eighth and started it off with a five-pitch walk to Miguel Cabrera. After striking out the next two, he gave out another five-pitch walk to Upton. Coming into tonight, Miller had allowed only one walk all season. He allowed two in four batters tonight. Ian Kinsler followed it up with an RBI double that scored Cabrera but Upton was called out at home by a nice Gregorius throw. The inning ended with a 5-3 Yankees lead.

How about a third time? Chapman started the inning by loading the bases with no out. That two-run lead? Looking pretty shaky there my friend. However, Chapman induced a double play against J.D. Martinez – which scored a run but again, it’s two outs! Suddenly, it wasn’t too threatening anymore.  Well, except that the next hitter was Miguel Cabrera. Fortunately, he grounded out to second on the first pitch, ending a wild ride. 5-4 Yankees win.

Box Score, Highlight, WPA and Standings

Here’s tonight’s box score, video highlights, WPA and updated standings.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees head to Baltimore to face the Orioles in a weekend three-game series (fun! For me!). I may be attending one of the games so say hi if you’re going!

Swept: Blue Jays rout Yankees 7-0 in series finale

Wow are the Yankees bad. I mean really, really bad. Not like 2013-14 bad. Legitimately bad. They haven’t been this bad since 1992. Maybe 1991. The Blue Jays finished the sweep with a 7-0 rout of the Yankees at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night. The Yankees have lost six of their last eight games — they were one-hit in one of the two wins! — to fall four games under .500. Again.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Tanaka Deserves Better
Masahiro Tanaka was definitely not at his best Wednesday night, but he wasn’t terrible either. Two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk in six innings is a winnable game. Even his bad starts are pretty good. Tanaka did not seem to have his splitter working — only two strikeouts and six swings and misses out of 104 total pitches — which led to some deep counts and long innings. So it goes.

Tanaka kept the Blue Jays off the board until the fifth inning, when a fielder’s choice sandwiched between two singles gave Toronto a 1-0 lead. Josh Donaldson drove in Darwin Barney. The Blue Jays scored their second run the next inning thanks in part to a Jacoby Ellsbury error. He straight up dropped a catchable fly ball. Actually, he dropped it, bobbled it, then juggled it for good measure.

Jacoby Ellsbury bobble

The Yankees seem to be good for one or two plays like that a game these days. That fly ball should have been the first out of the inning. Instead it gave the Blue Jays runners on first and second with no outs. Tanaka was able to limit the damage to one run with a double play grounder. A subpar start for sure, but like I said, this wasn’t even that bad. Tanaka’s been pretty awesome.

Stranded Runners
The Yankees struggled offensively, again, and they left a bunch of runners on base, again. Earlier this season I was pointing out that hey, the Yankees were getting guys on base and that’s good. If they keep doing that the runs will come.

Well, they’re still doing it and the runs aren’t coming. Seven hits, two walks, no runs on Wednesday. They went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and of course the one hit didn’t score a run. You can measure this team’s speed with a sundial. Let us recap the blown run scoring opportunities:

  • Second Inning: Chase Headley struck out with runners on second and third and two outs.
  • Third Inning: Brian McCann struck out with runners on the corners and two outs.
  • Fourth Inning: Didi Gregorius and Headley struck out with a runner on second.
  • Fifth Inning: McCann lined out with runners on first and second and two outs.
  • Seventh Inning: Brett Gardner flew out with runners on first and second and one out, then Carlos Beltran flew out to end the inning with runners on the corners.

That’s about it. The Yankees were nice enough to go quietly in the eighth and ninth innings to get this game over quickly. Ellsbury and Beltran each had two hits to pace the offense. They’ve been the team’s two best hitters for a few weeks now. Alex Rodriguez doubled, Gregorius singled, and Ronald Torreyes singled as well. Gardner and McCann drew the walks. Even with nine baserunners, Wednesday’s game was about as uneventful as it gets offensively.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty)

Blown Open Late
Kirby Yates finally has Kirby Yates numbers. He went into the game with a 2.25 ERA (3.17 FIP) and left with a 3.98 ERA (3.36 FIP). He faced five batters in the seventh and retired one. Nick Goody came in and allowed two inherited runners to score plus one run of his own. The offense has been struggling big time but two runs is doable, you know? A bloop and a blast and the game is tied. Yates and Goody then put the game out of reach by allowing five runs on four hits and two walks in that seventh inning. I wasn’t looking forward to another teaser comeback attempt in the ninth anyway.

Leftovers
That … seems like everything, doesn’t it? Richard Bleier tossed a scoreless eighth inning in his second big league appearance. Tanaka made a rare error when he threw away a pickoff attempt, allowing the runner to get all the way to third. He did managed to escape the jam though. Headley, who had a solid month of May, started June with a Golden Sombrero. Did I miss anything else? I think that covers it.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights, plus the updated standings if you need a good cry. Check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages too. Here’s the loss probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are going to Detroit for a one-game series with the Tigers. They’re making up that rained out game from earlier this season. Michael Pineda and lefty Matt Boyd will be the pitching matchup. That’s a 7:40pm ET start for whatever reason. Lot of weird start times of late, no?

Yankees can’t make leads Happ-en in a 4-1 loss to Toronto

Summarizes 2016 Yankees: the offense (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

It’s a bit of a deja vu here. CC Sabathia goes up against J.A. Happ and the Blue Jays, pitches a solid game, but ends up a loser thanks to lack of run support. The good news is that Sabathia’s run of newfound effectiveness is continuing. The bad news? Well, just about everything else. The Yankees have dropped two in a row to the Blue Jays to end their May.

CC Is Still Good

When his career is all said and done, we will probably remember him for his fireballing days of leading Indians, Brewers and Yankees to playoffs. However, at this stage of the career, Sabathia seems to have embraced a soft-tossing lefty role. As a result, as of this moment, he’s been able to induce more soft contact (25.6% coming into tonight, 16.5% last year) and infield pop ups (18.6% this year as opposed to 10.2% career).

After tossing six innings of 2 ER ball, he marked a nice end to his torrid May. Overall, Sabathia allowed only three earned runs in four starts, while logging 26.0 IP. It’s not all luck either. He’s also struck out 25 strikeouts while allowing only five walks during that span. What more could you ask for? Well, you could ask for… more support from the lineup. We’ll get to that later.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

On to the negatives – he did allow a homer tonight. In the fourth, Sabathia uncorked a 89 mph sinker that caught just a bit too much plate to Justin Smoak. The Jays first baseman didn’t miss much of it – he drove it just over the left center wall for a game-tying solo homer. It’s just the second dinger that Sabathia has allowed all year, which is pretty incredible if you think about it. It’s May 31!

Speaking of solid pitching performances, the Yankee hitters let another one happen against them tonight. Oops.

Runs Are Not Happ-ening

The Yankees faced the newly-fixed J.A. Happ three times this season. They’ve lost all three of those. In those three starts, Happ has only allowed three earned runs in 19 IP against the Bronx Bombers. That is not a good look for the Yankee lineup.

Happ wasn’t exactly blowing the Yankee hitters away (3 K’s in 6 IP, 7 whiffs in 97 pitches) and he also benefited from a few stellar defensive plays (think: Kevin Pillar) but it wasn’t like the Yankee bats looked domineering as well. New York did score a run off of him – but it wasn’t easy.

In the top of second, the Yankees started the frame with two consecutive hits – a double from Chase Headley and an infield single by Austin Romine. Sounds promising, right? Didi Gregorius followed it up with a shallow fly out that failed to move up the runners. Next up, Aaron Hicks nearly hit into a double play but just beat the throw to first by a beat to earn an RBI ground out. Oh, and the Yankees led 1-0.

They had a lead for about two and a half innings and never had it again.

This ended up being a two-RBI single (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Seventh Inning of Doom

With Dellin Betances warming up, Joe Girardi let Sabathia start the bottom of seventh with just under 80 pitches. The leash was obviously super short though – the lefty allowed a leadoff double to Edwin Encarnacion and Joe pulled him out for Betances. Sabathia was obviously not pleased but hey, gotta trust the Betances – Andrew MillerAroldis Chapman sequence, right? Well, it’s not really a foolproof solution.

Betances made first two outs rather stress-free. After walking Devon Travis, Betances allowed a go-ahead single to Kevin Pillar for a 2-1 Jays lead. Toronto wasn’t done. Darwin Barney followed it up with a two-run single that widened the lead to 4-1. The way the offense looked tonight, you might as well as call three-run deficit Mount Himalaya and just like that, the Yankee bats went away quietly the next two innings. Headley’s ninth inning single was the only baserunner they had.

Leftovers

The Yankees had six hits tonight. Chase Headley was the only hitter to have a multi-hit game with two. His avg is up to .236 and OPS, .636. They are both not pretty but, well, it’s an improvement. I’d love to see where both stand by the end of June.

Kirby Yates continued his solid 2016 campaign with a scoreless frame in the eighth. Earlier this season when he made the roster, I thought he could have been this year’s Chris Martin – making the roster from ST and flaming out soon thereafter. However, he has a pretty darn nice 2.25 ERA in 20.0 IP. He’s striking out a good clip (9.90 K/9) while allowing only 13 hits in twenty frames.

Box Score, Highlights, WPA and Standings

Here’s tonight’s box score, video highlights, WPA and updated standings.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees will try to avoid being swept in the series finale Thursday. Masahiro Tanaka and Aaron Sanchez will be the starters.

Offense struggles again in 4-2 loss to Blue Jays


Source: FanGraphs

The 4-2 final score makes Monday’s series opening loss seem closer than it really was. The Yankees mustered very little offense most of the night before making noise against some bad Blue Jays relievers in the ninth. They actually brought the tying run to the plate, but alas. The Yankees have lost four of their last six games and they were one-hit in one of the wins, so yeah. Not great. It’s a holiday, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • Two Token Runs: On a night Toronto’s bullpen was way thin due to their recent workload, the Yankees let Marco Estrada complete eight innings on 108 total pitches. It wasn’t until the eighth that he threw more than 16 pitches in an inning. Good job, good effort. Estrada held the Yankees to three hits (Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Aaron Hicks) and three walks (Ellsbury, Starlin Castro twice). At one point from Saturday to Monday the Yankees had four hits in the span of 18 innings.
  • Nope-va: Ivan Nova was bound to have a subpar outing at some point, and I guess it’s good it came on a night the offense mustered little. Two birds, one stone. The Blue Jays tagged Nova for four runs on eight hits (five extra-base hits!) and a walk in six innings. He managed to give up a loud double and an opposite field homer to Ryan Goins, which is terrible and sums up the state of the Yankees. Toronto’s light-hitting No. 9 hitter nearly out-produced the entire New York offense. Ivan’s been pretty good since moving back into the rotation. Duds happen. You’re excused.
  • Late Rally: A Brian McCann two-run homer got the Yankees on the board in the ninth. It snapped his career long tying 0-for-21 streak. Mark Teixeira followed with a loud double to right, so that’s cool. He wasn’t hitting the ball very hard before this recent neck issue. Castro (fly out) and Chase Headley (strikeout) batted as the tying run following Teixeira’s double and failed to reach. I guess this means the O’Neill Theory is in effect Tuesday? The Yankees better hope so.
  • Leftovers: Nick Goody retired Jose Bautista (strikeout), Josh Donaldson (pop-up), and Edwin Encarnacion (strikeout) … Richard Bleier made his MLB debut and retired the two batters he faced. Bleier’s no kid. He’s 29. Congrats to him … Castro drawing two walks is pretty rare. This was his 940th career game and only his 11th (!) with two unintentional walks. Crazy.

Here’s the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages either. Lefties CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ will be on the mound in the second game of the series Tuesday night. Will the offense give Sabathia any support? Probably not, but maybe they’ll surprise me.

Castro’s home run rescues the Yankees from no-no, leads to a 2-1 win over the Rays

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

As Drake said, that went from 0 to 100 real quick. The Yankees were no-hit for 6.1 innings by Rays starter Jake Odorizzi, but Starlin Castro‘s two-run homer gave them a lead for good. Nathan Eovaldi was awarded with a win for his good outing and the Yankee bullpen arms did their thing to shut the game down. It’s the weekend so let’s do this bullet-style.

  • Rays Strike First: With two outs and Brandon Guyer at third, Eovaldi surrendered an RBI single to Evan Longoria on a 88 mph splitter in the third. He got into more trouble in the fifth. With one out, Curt Casali reached to first on a bobble by Castro and a call overturned by replay. Guyer followed it up by hitting a hanging curve into the left field warning track for a double. With runners on second and third however, Nate induced a harmless foul territory fly out from Brad Miller for the second out. Longoria gave it a ride to right field but the ball fell into Aaron Hicks‘ glove right in front of the wall to end the inning. Imagine if that was hit a smidge better, we could be talking about a 4-0 Rays lead.
  • Nasty Nate: Okay, enough talking about the bad parts of Eovaldi’s start; he actually pitched pretty well overall. In 6 IP, he struck out 7, allowed 2 walks and 1 ER. His ERA is now at 3.71 and his FIP and xFIP don’t look shabby either (3.53 and 3.37 respectively). He had a shaky start to this season but Eovaldi’s settled down pretty well in the month of May. For awhile though, it looked like he was being outmatched by Odorizzi, who was perfect through the first 5.1 innings. Until…
  • No More Perfecto: The Yankees broke up the perfecto in the sixth … or, really, the Rays let it go. Dustin Ackley hit a grounder to SS Brad Miller and he double clutched the ball before throwing. Umpires declared Ackley safe on the initial call. The Rays challenged it and after review, the  umpsstood by it. That’s one way to get a baserunner on, right? The play was ruled an error, not a hit. Ronald Torreyes followed with a double play to end the sixth.
  • Taking The Lead: The Yankees were still being no hit heading into the seventh. With one out, Brett Gardner worked a seven-pitch walk to get on base. On a 1-0 count, Castro got a 91 mph fastball right down the middle and didn’t miss any of it. Upon contact, both him and Odorizzi knew it was out – and they weren’t wrong. 2-1 Yankees. That was also the Yankees’ only hit of the day. As our Katie Sharp noted, this was the team’s first win with only one hit in a nine-inning game since at least 1913.
  • Shutdown Bullpen: As soon as the Yanks took the lead in the seventh (with Eovaldi already having thrown 105 pitches), you knew this was going to happen: the Dellin BetancesAndrew MillerAroldis Chapman formula. The three relievers threw three perfect innings with seven K’s. Each of them threw less than 15 pitches too. Simply dominant. Also, as Mike noted, the Yankees had pitchers with insane velocity readings all day.

Here’s today’s box score, video highlights, WPA and updated standings. The Yankees are going to Toronto for a three-game series with the Blue Jays next. Ivan Nova and Marco Estrada will be on the mound Monday.


Source: FanGraphs

Pineda pounded yet again, Yankees fall 9-5 to Rays


Source: FanGraphs

Man I hope this season doesn’t turn into a series of “the Yankees are trying to get back to .500″ games, but I fear that’s where they’re heading. They lost Saturday afternoon’s game 9-5 to the Rays to fall to 23-25 on the season. It’s a Saturday, so let’s recap with bullet points:

  • Pineda Pounded: After allowing six runs in 3.2 innings Saturday afternoon, Michael Pineda now ranks 102nd out of 102 qualified starters with a 6.92 ERA. Dead last. He’s 83rd with a 4.62 FIP. Pineda has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season if not the worst, and he should not make his next start. But he will. Joe Girardi confirmed the Yankees haven’t discussed pulling Pineda from the rotation even though they were down 5-0 after two innings Saturday. Pineda’s been miserable. Stick him in the bullpen for a while and hope something clicks in mop-up duty.
  • Five Runs Should Be Enough: The Yankees did not go quietly Saturday. They scratched out a run in the fourth (Carlos Beltran solo homer) and rallied for two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Nine of the 15 batters they sent to the plate those two innings reached base, and Austin Romine had a pair of run-scoring singles. Alex Rodriguez struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh, and really, that was the end of the comeback. It was their best chance to get back into the game down 9-3. Five runs should be enough to win most days. They weren’t Saturday.
  • Cessa Impresses: Thanks to Pineda’s short start, Luis Cessa got his first extended outing at the big league level, and he looked pretty good. He did miss terribly with a 3-1 fastball that Hank Conger hit out of the park, but overall Cessa allowed one run on three hits and a walk in four innings. He fanned three, got six swings and misses out of 53 total pitches (11.3%), and ran his fastball up to 97.8 mph per PitchFX. I’d like to see some more.
  • Leftovers: Starlin Castro went 0-for-5 and is down to .251/.286/.410 (88 wRC+) on the season. He’s been sneaky bad since the Astros series … Chase Headley, meanwhile, went 3-for-3 with a walk and is up to .235/.321/.316 (78 wRC+) on the season. He hit .150/.268/.150 (23 wRC+) in April, remember … Austin Romine went 3-for-4 in the spot start to continue his productive season … Nick Goody allowed two runs in one-third of an inning … the Yankees have hit a homer in six straight games, easily their longest such streak of the season. They had a few three-gamers.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you head on over to our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Rays wrap up this three-game series with the rubber game Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1pm ET start. No more of this 4pm nonsense. Nathan Eovaldi and Jake Odorizzi will be on the bump.

Minor League Update: I don’t have time for a bullpen DotF tonight, folks. Sorry. Here are the box scores. Tyler Wade and Jorge Mateo each had two hits, Miguel Andujar hit two homers, Ian Clarkin tossed six scoreless innings, and Kyle Holder extended his hitting streak to 16 games.