Yankees outslugged in rocky reunion for Gray
HRs from Judge, Torres unable to pick up former A's ace
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge homered as part of a four-RBI performance and Gleyber Torres also went deep, but it was not enough to overcome Sonny Gray's stumble against his former club as the Yankees lost for the second consecutive evening, dropping a 10-5 decision to the Athletics on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Facing Oakland for the first time since being shipped across the country in a trade last July 31, Gray served up homers to Khris Davis and Matt Chapman over five innings, permitting five runs and a season-high nine hits. Unable to find his rhythm and tempo, the effort represented a shift in momentum for Gray, resulting in just the Yankees' third loss in 20 games.
"I felt good. I just couldn't put it together," Gray said. "I felt like my stuff was pretty good, but at the end of the day, they put five runs across the board in five innings. When you do that, it's going to be tough to win those games."
Both homers off Gray came in the second inning. Davis slugged a solo drive into the right-field bullpen, his 10th, and Chapman reached the loading dock in left-center for a two-run shot, his seventh. Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien also knocked in runs off Gray, who walked three and struck out two.
"I thought he had a little bit of a hard time putting some guys away, but I thought he competed and at least was able to get us through five," manager Aaron Boone said. "He allowed us to hang around enough to make a game of it."
One of the hits off Gray was a fourth-inning single by Dustin Fowler, the first hit of the outfielder's big league career. Fowler made his Major League debut with the Yankees last June, sustaining a season-ending injury in the first inning, before being included in the trade that brought Gray to New York in July.
"There's many more to come out of him," Judge said. "He's got a bright future ahead of him, and I just wish him the best. It's exciting to see him at Yankee Stadium, and playing where he belongs, in the Major Leagues."
The Yankees clawed back against Kendall Graveman, with Torres slugging his third big league homer to put New York on the board in the third. Judge crushed a three-run shot to the right-field bleachers in the fifth, tying Didi Gregorius for the team lead with his 10th homer and trimming Oakland's lead to a run at the time.
Graveman exited after six innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits as he notched his first victory in seven starts this season. He said it was memorable to pitch against his close friend Gray; they lived across the hall from each other in a California apartment complex when they were teammates on the A's.
"We've been friends since I came over here, and he's a great guy," Graveman said. "He's going to get it turned around; [he's] going through a rough patch too a little bit. You just know a caliber guy like that, the makeup that he has, he's going to come out of it. It's unique to step on the same rubber as him in the same game."
The A's added a pair of solo homers against David Hale, with Lowrie and Matt Joyce going deep in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively. Semien ripped a three-run double off Player Page for David Robertson in the ninth to put the game away.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Yankees settled for one run against a trio of relievers in the seventh inning, though they were set for a big frame after Miguel Andujar led off with an infield single and Austin Romine punched a hit to right field against Ryan Dull. Recognizing that the third baseman Chapman was playing back, Torres bunted on his own, saying that he was trying for a base hit or sacrifice.
"I tried to help my team," Torres said. "I saw the opportunity to move the runners. ... I feel good because I helped my team."
Brett Gardner and Judge worked walks against Lou Trivino, forcing home a run, but Yusmeiro Petit got Gregorius to hit a harmless fly ball to right field and Giancarlo Stanton popped up to the second baseman Lowrie on the outfield grass.
Boone said Torres was likely trying to drag the bunt, which instead was fielded by the pitcher Dull.
"I'm OK with our guys when they see an opportunity to get a hit in that spot, to take a shot at that," Boone said. "I have no issue with that."
• The Yankees have lost two straight games for the first time since April 8 vs. Baltimore and April 10 at Boston. They have not lost three straight games in 2018.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fowler became the second player this season to record his first career hit against the team that drafted him, joining Atlanta's Jesse Biddle, who doubled for his first hit on April 29 at Philadelphia. Fowler is the first player drafted by the Yankees to get his first Major League hit against them since Justin Turner on July 11, 2009, with Baltimore. Fowler is the first player to do so against the Yankees after debuting for them since Domingo Ramos on May 23, 1980, with Toronto.
Domingo German (0-1, 2.66 ERA) will make his second Major League start on Saturday as the Yankees and Athletics continue their three-game series at 1:05 p.m. ET. Facing the Indians in his first turn through the rotation, German was excellent, becoming the first pitcher since 1893 to fire six hitless innings with nine strikeouts in his first career start. Andrew Triggs (3-1, 4.41) will start for Oakland.