PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dellin Betances stole the show from Jonathan Loaisiga with his Gary Sheffield impersonation at the plate — even as the rookie right-hander played stopper for the team with baseball’s best record.
Loaisiga took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Aaron Judge ripped his 20th homer and the New York Yankees snapped a three-game skid with a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
All of which meant the Yankees could laugh about Betances’ first career plate appearance. Batting with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Betances wiggled his bat like Sheffield as he took a strike from Yacksel Rios before missing on two mighty swings. That drew chuckles from his teammates in the bullpen.
“I liked to watch Gary and imitate his stance,” Betances said. “I was trying to do some damage. I took some good hacks. I got my money’s worth.”
Betances said he hadn’t swung a bat in 12 years.
“I was hoping and praying it wouldn’t be my turn,” he said. “I saw the ball good. Playing catch with Aroldis Chapman helped me out.”
Judge and the rest of the Yankees enjoyed watching Betances trying to make contact.
“It was fun, a pretty cool moment,” Judge said. “I’m glad he didn’t get hurt.”
Loaisiga (2-0) didn’t allow a hit until Jorge Alfaro lined a single to right leading off the sixth. He struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings, throwing 86 pitches in his third start after jumping from Double-A to the majors.
“I felt good from the start, was aggressive and attacked the zone,” Loaisiga said through a translator.
The Yankees, who were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, haven’t lost four in a row this season and own the best record in baseball (51-25).
“We just had to forget what happened in Tampa and get back on track,” Judge said.
Making their first appearance at Citizens Bank Park since beating the Phillies in six games in the 2009 World Series, it felt like home for the Yankees. The sellout crowd of 44,136 was filled with fans cheering for the Bronx Bombers.
Philadelphia’s Vince Velasquez (5-8) allowed two runs and three hits, striking out seven in six innings. He’s given up three runs or fewer in 11 of 16 starts.
David Robertson struck out Rhys Hoskins and retired Odubel Herrera on a grounder to leave runners at second and third after replacing Loaisiga in the sixth. Hoskins didn’t immediately run to first after the ball bounced a few feet away and appeared to exchange words with a fan after walking back out of the dugout.
“He was a little frustrated in that moment,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Hoskins. “Rhys always says and does the right thing, supports his teammates.”
Robertson allowed Scott Kingery’s RBI single in the seventh and gave way to Betances for three outs. Chapman got the last four outs for his 23rd save in 24 tries. He entered with two runners on in the eighth and Carlos Santana flied to deep left on Chapman’s first pitch. The lefty surrendered a solo homer to Maikel Franco with two outs in the ninth.
Gleyber Torres had an RBI double in the first. Judge lined one out to left in the fifth to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a hard bouncer over drawn-in shortstop Kingery’s head for a two-run single in the eighth, extending the lead to 4-1.
The Yankees improved to 14-14 against the Phillies, leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers as the only team they have a losing record (6-7) against in the regular season. New York also defeated Philadelphia in the 1950 World Series.
Yankees: All-Star C Gary Sanchez was put on the 10-day disabled list because of a Grade 1 right groin strain. Manager Aaron Boone said Sanchez could miss up to four weeks.
Phillies: Right-handed reliever Edubray Ramos was placed on the 10-day disabled list because of a right shoulder impingement.
RHP Luis Severino (11-2, 2.24 ERA) goes for the Yankees and RHP Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.42) takes the mound for the Phillies on Tuesday night. Severino has never faced Philadelphia. Arrieta is 3-1, 3.83 in seven career starts vs. New York.
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