Romine's late blast propels Yanks past D-backs

July 31st, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Yankees opened the afternoon digging in against Zack Greinke, unwittingly tossing the final five innings of his D-backs career before being shipped to the Astros. They ended it by shaking hands on the infield grass, thanks in large part to 's seventh-inning homer.

Romine’s go-ahead two-run blast off Yoshihisa Hirano highlighted the action on a day in which the Yankees largely stood pat at the Trade Deadline, helping to power New York’s 7-5 victory over the D-backs on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.

"We know what we’ve got in here is special," Romine said. "We can focus on it now more. We think we can win a World Series with the team in here, and I think everyone in here believes that, so it’s time to get to work.”

The catcher's shot landed in the left-field seats approximately 30 minutes after the 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline. Though general manager Brian Cashman said repeatedly that he was seeking to bolster the club's pitching, the Yanks’ only move on Wednesday was to acquire Minor League left-hander Alfredo Garcia in exchange for right-hander Joseph Harvey.

"We didn’t get close to anything, but we certainly knocked on all doors," Cashman said. "We had a lot of ideas and exchanged ideas with clubs in our effort to improve. But the fallback always has been that we know we have a good club already."

Even without a splashy move, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that his club has enough to make 2019 special. The Yankees (68-39) own a healthy eight-game advantage in the American League East, and Boone believes that they can enjoy a deep October run, even if they run into the freshly reinforced Astros.

“Hopefully we’re in a position to be playing them in a meaningful game," Boone said. "You never know when you'll match up, but obviously [Greinke is] a really good pitcher and helps their club. We know we can go beat anyone. Nothing changes there.”

hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Greinke, who permitted two hits over five innings before being removed during a sixth-inning rain delay.

During those 36 minutes when the tarpaulin covered the playing field, Houston finalized a deal to acquire Greinke in exchange for four prospects.

“There’s an entire television network that’s dedicated just to talking about that for 24 hours a day, so it’s naturally going to get talked about," Tauchman said. "We had the rain delay right around the time when the Deadline was coming up. It was just, ‘We've got to get it done today.’”

Attempting to bounce back from arguably the worst start of his professional career, having permitted a career-high 12 earned runs to the Red Sox at Fenway Park, auditioned a revised grip on his trademark splitter in order to generate more swings and misses.

The tweak came at the suggestion of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who believes that lower seams on the baseball have cost Tanaka some of his vertical drop. Tanaka only completed four-plus innings, with a stellar stop by third baseman Gio Urshela saving at least two runs in the fourth.

"Obviously, you want to stay in there, go that [fifth] inning and put up a zero, but I think it's part of me having not been effective of late," Tanaka said through a translator. "I kind of understand the decision. For me, I need to keep on performing and get some results, then it'll change."

Arizona produced three runs in the fifth off Tanaka and Chad Green. Eduardo Escobar collected an RBI on a fielder’s choice, Jake Lamb lifted a sacrifice fly to score the second run and center fielder Aaron Hicks committed a costly error, uncorking a throw to third base that landed in the visiting dugout and allowed another run to score.

The Yanks padded their lead with three eighth-inning runs as Gleyber Torres and Cameron Maybin thumped RBI hits. Tim Locastro hit his first big league homer in the ninth off Nestor Cortes Jr. before Aroldis Chapman secured his 27th save in 32 chances.

“In there celebrating a win with those guys, [I was] looking around the room and knowing we’ve got everything we need to be a championship club," Boone said. "That doesn’t change."