Jameson Taillon nearly perfect as Yanks sweep

Jameson Taillon nearly perfect as Yanks sweep

NEW YORK — Jameson Taillon flirted with history by carrying a perfect game into the eighth inning, then was rescued by Anthony Rizzo’s pinch-hit, two-run single as the Yankees rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Angels on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium, completing a three-game series sweep.

Taillon retired the first 21 batters he faced before Jared Walsh reached on a ground ball up the middle that shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa attempted to backhand with a slide, only to see it kick away for a double. Two outs later, Kurt Suzuki followed with an RBI single to left field that drove in the game’s first run.

Until the home half of the eighth, the Bombers’ offense was stifled by Reid Detmers and three Halos relievers, a surprising turn of events after the Yankees belted three homers off Shohei Ohtani in a 6-1 victory during the first game of Thursday’s day-night, separate-admission doubleheader.

Facing Oliver Ortega in the eighth, New York loaded the bases with one out on a Miguel Andújar double and two walks. Archie Bradley entered and struck out Joey Gallo, but Rizzo came off the bench to drill a single into center field, providing the Yanks with their first lead of the game.

In vying to toss the Yankees’ first perfect game since David Cone in 1999, Taillon was both incredible and economical, needing 83 pitches to navigate seven innings. His bid was kept alive by Kiner-Falefa in the seventh, when the shortstop made a sparkling backhand play up the middle and threw across his body to retire Ohtani on a bang-bang play.

Taillon’s strong effort continued a dominant string of performances for Yankees starters, who have tossed a season-high seven consecutive games of six or more innings, matching a feat last accomplished by the club from May 5-12, 2017. Nestor Cortes scattered five hits over seven scoreless frames in Thursday’s opener.

Assam Press