While many of you were glued to your TVs watching the double-overtime thriller between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, David Phelps was busy taking care of business out in Oakland.
The Yankee right-hander didn't give up a hit until the 5th inning, and didn't give up a run at all, as he held the best team in baseball scoreless over 6 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits in the Yankees' 7-0 win the Athletics on Friday night at the O.Co Coliseum.
A's starter Sonny Gray came into the game having given up at least three runs in each of his past three starts, and that's exactly what the Yankees would scrap together against him.
Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter opened the game with singled off of Gray, then Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single into left field, scoring Gardner to the Yankees up 1-0, quickly. A batter later, Mark Teixeira flew out to center field, deep enough for Jeter to tag and score from third base, making it a 2-0 game after just four batters.
Gray retired the next two hitters to end the 1st the Yankees came out swinging again in the top of the 2nd. After Ichiro Suzuki struck out to begin the 2nd, Brian Roberts reach on an infield single, Kelly Johnson walked, then Gardner smacked another single into center field, bringing home Roberts to extend the lead to 3-0.
Gray settled down after the 2nd inning, giving up just one hit while striking out six over the next four inning before he was taken out of the game. The Yankees tagged him for three runs on seven hits, with a walk and seven strikeouts on 103 pitches.
Phelps set down the first ten A's in order before walking John Jaso with one out in the 4th inning. Derek Norris collected the first base hit against Phelps with a little flare into shallow left field. That was following a walk to Jed Lowrie, putting the A's in a good position to do something, but Phelps retired the next two to escape the jam.
Phelps made it through 6.2 inning, giving up just hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. With this outing, he snapped a streak of four straight losses coming into the night, and also pick up his first road win of the season. The Yankees have been getting some good performances from their starters lately, and Phelps did not do anything to ruin that trend.
He gave the ball to Dellin Betances with two outs in the 7th Betances would strike out two batters in 1.1 innings.
After Fernando Abad tossed a scoreless 7th inning, the Yankees tacked on four runs in the top of the 8th to make this their best offensive performance in a long time.
Teixeira and Brian McCann put together back-to-back one-out singles, then started a two out rally after Carlos Beltran flew out, moving Teixeira to third base.
Ichiro reach on an infield single, scoring Teixeira. Roberts singled home a pair of runs to make it a 6-0 game. Then Kelly Johnson added on one more run with a base hit to center field, driving in Roberts.
Jose Ramirez took over in the 9th with the seven run lead and shutdown the A's in order to close out the ballgame for the Yankees' fourth straight victory, which pulls them to within 3.5 games behind the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays.