Home News Yankees clip Mariners thanks to Jhony Brito’s gem, timely HRs

Yankees clip Mariners thanks to Jhony Brito’s gem, timely HRs

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Struggling at Triple-A?

All Jhony Brito needed was a trip to the majors to turn it around on the mound.

With the Yankees in need of a spot starter on Wednesday, they turned to Brito, who delivered 5 ²/₃ scoreless innings on the way to a 4-2 win over the Mariners in The Bronx.

Entering this series on the heels of a four-game losing streak, the Yankees (41-33) have now won two straight on the back of strong starting pitching and home runs from unexpected sources — though playing the scuffling Mariners (35-37) may have helped, too.

Jake Bauers, Billy McKinney and Anthony Volpe all homered to make sure Brito’s strong outing did not go to waste as he outdueled Mariners ace Luis Castillo in his first big league outing since May 20.

“Couldn’t ask for much more than that [from Brito],” manager Aaron Boone said.


Jhony Brito accepts congratulations from teammates after exiting the game in the sixth inning in which he didn’t allow a run in the Yankees’ 4-2 win over the Mariners on June 21.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Brito was not exactly returning to The Bronx on a high note.

Over his last two starts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he had given up 12 runs on 14 hits and four home runs across 10 ¹/₃ innings, though Boone said before the game Wednesday that Brito had been making “some good adjustments.”

Facing a Mariners lineup that Gerrit Cole had quieted on Tuesday, Brito gave up just two hits and walked one, while striking out three.

The 25-year-old right-hander allowed just one Mariner to reach second base and at one point retired 12 straight batters.

“Going [to Triple-A], the priority was to command the strike zone with the fastball, use the sinker to both sides of the plate and keep the changeup low in the strike zone,” Brito, who came into the night with a 5.58 ERA from his 10-game stint to start the season with the Yankees, said through an interpreter. “I’ve also been working on a slider that has given me really good results. Polishing that pitch down there, putting a good package of pitches [together] has been the focus.”


Jake Bauers watches his two-run homer leave the park in the third inning of the Yankees' win.
Jake Bauers watches his two-run homer leave the park in the third inning of the Yankees’ win.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Anthony Volpe belts a solo homer in the seventh inning of the Yankees' victory.
Anthony Volpe belts a solo homer in the seventh inning of the Yankees’ victory.
Robert Sabo for NY Post

Tommy Kahnle earned his first save of the season, coming on in relief of a shaky Michael King to secure the final two outs of the ninth inning.

Bauers gave Brito a lead to work with in the third inning when he crushed a two-run homer to right field off Castillo.

The right fielder has now hit .270 with a .916 OPS over his last 19 games, with 12 of his 17 hits in that span going for extra bases.

“I don’t know if in February I thought that I would be here,” said Bauers, who was a non-roster invitee to spring training and was called up from Triple-A in late April. “Enjoying every second still.”


Billy McKinney belts a solo homer in the second inning of the Yankees' win.
Billy McKinney belts a solo homer in the second inning of the Yankees’ win.
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

McKinney, another non-roster invitee who got his chance when he replaced the injured Aaron Judge on the roster earlier this month, made it 3-0 in the fourth when he belted a solo homer, his second home run in as many nights.

“If you hit, you’ll play — that’s what my old man always said,” said McKinney, who has reached base in all 12 of his games to go with a .992 OPS.

In the seventh inning, Volpe delivered his 10th home run of the season, against lefty reliever Gabe Speier, a day after general manager Brian Cashman reiterated that the Yankees have no plans of sending the rookie shortstop to Triple-A.

The Mariners got a run back in the top of the eighth when pinch-hitter Dylan Moore drilled a solo homer off Wandy Peralta before they added a run off King in the ninth.

But in a scenario that few would have expected coming into the night, the Yankees had enough breathing room because Brito outpitched Castillo.

“[Brito] was getting on the mound, throwing strikes, throwing everything for a strike,” McKinney said. “That was really impressive to see.”

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