The Yankees took a 6-0 lead in less than two innings, and that early lead — featuring a Brian McCann grand slam and a two-run homer from Chris Young — frustrated Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer a good deal. So much so that he threw a fastball inside to Alex Rodriguez with seeming intent to hit him. Home plate umpire Rob Drake thought so anyway and he tossed Oberholtzer, which ended up being a favor to the Astros. Roberto Hernandez came in after that and pitched three and two-thirds innings of shutout ball, during which time the Astros chipped back against an ineffective Masahiro Tanaka to tie it up 6-6 by the end of the fifth inning.
In the eighth the Yankees put two men on and Mark Teixeira hit a two-run double to break the tie. Chase Headley hit a solo shot in the ninth to add some insurance.
After the game Oberholtzer was optioned to Triple-A Fresno. Which marks the first time in history someone was punished for going after A-Rod rather than praised.
The rest of the results on a soggy Saturday:
Yankees 9, Astros 6
Rangers 4, Blue Jays 0
Twins 5, Brewers 2
Royals 3, Athletics 2
Pirates 8, Braves 4
Giants 7, Rockies 5
Marlins 3, Dodgers 2
Rays 4, Red Sox 1
Angels 4, Mariners 2
Cardinals 8, Cubs 1
Padres 7, Diamondbacks 2
Reds 1, Mets 1: SUSPENDED
White Sox vs. Tigers: POSTPONED
Nationals vs. Phillies: POSTPONED
Indians vs. Orioles: POSTPONED
Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer was not having a good afternoon at home against the Yankees on Saturday. He served up an upper-deck home run to right field in the first inning to Brian McCann, then surrendered a one-out, two-run blast to Chris Young in the second.
Frustrated, Oberholtzer’s next pitch was a fastball inside to Alex Rodriguez, nearly hitting the DH. Home plate umpire Rob Drake immediately ejected a remorseless Oberholtzer, who walked off the mound without an argument.
Roberto Hernandez entered the game in Oberholtzer’s place, eventually walking Rodriguez before escaping the inning unscathed.
Oberholtzer should end up with a fine and/or a suspension when the dust settles.
After averaging 104 losses during the past four seasons the Astros have the most wins in the American League and general manager Jeff Luhnow isn’t messing around.
Baseball’s best prospect, 20-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa, has been called up to Houston to make his MLB tonight and the Astros are calling up another top prospect too.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that they’ve promoted 23-year-old right-hander Vincent Velasquez to the majors from Double-A, where he had a 1.37 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Velasquez came into this season with zero experience above Single-A, but is now headed to the majors with all of five starts at Double-A and zero starts at Triple-A. He ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect this spring and joins 21-year-old Lance McCullers in moving into Houston’s rotation without throwing a pitch at Triple-A.
Velasquez will make his MLB debut Wednesday against the White Sox and veteran right-hander Roberto Hernandez has been demoted to the bullpen after posting a 5.18 ERA in 11 starts. Houston is ahead of schedule and going for it.