Jed Lowrie is set to return from the disabled list after missing six weeks with a shoulder injury, so manager Terry Francona explained that Marco Scutaro no longer has a lock on the everyday shortstop job.
“Now that we will have Jed back, we can kind of split it up,” Francona told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Because Jed’s not ready to be out there every day, we can look at day game/night game, matchups and hopefully get the most out of both of them.”
Prior to the injury Lowrie had moved past Scutaro on the depth chart, but Scutaro has started 41 of 45 games there since Lowrie went down.
However, prior to last night’s four-hit effort against the Yankees Scutaro batted just .250 with a .668 OPS during that time and Francona made it pretty clear that he’s willing play whichever shortstop emerges with the hottest bat down the stretch. If healthy, Lowrie should have the upper hand. But that’s a pretty huge if and Scutaro’s big night might buy him a little time initially.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.