New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made.
Jose De Leon's dream came true as the rookie pitcher led the Los Angeles Dodgers over the New York Yankees, 8-2, in the first game of the series on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
De Leon got a little help from his friends as LA scored early and often in the matchup between undefeated prospect pitchers.
Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner hit a pair of solo homers late in the game and the Bay Bombers made two costly errors that helped extend the Dodgers lead in the early innings.
"We got to Mitchelll early and kept fighting," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of the win. "That Yasiel homer and Justin Turner homer were huge. Winning the first game here is good."
The matchup of historic rivals kicked off with a hustle play by Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning. Gonzalez got a rest from the field as he batted in the designated hitter spot and his hustle play led to LA's first run as he beat out a double play that scored the Dodgers first run.
Chase Utley busted the game open in the Bronx in the second inning when Yankees outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge nearly collided on a fly ball that should have been caught. Instead, Judge tried to backhand the ball, which bounced off his glove allowing two runs to score as the rookie slugger was charged with the error.
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One batter later, Corey Seager hit an RBI single to right field to score the fourth run of the game.
Another Yankees rookie cost the team a run in the top of the fifth when the Dodgers tried to pull off the infamous double steal from first and third. Gary Sanchez made an errant throw into centerfield trying to throw out Howie Kendrick allowing Josh Reddick who was stealing home on the play to score from third.
"Anytime you can steal a run like that, it's big," Kendrick said of the play. "It's a play that we have designed. He made an errant throw and it worked."
De Leon (2-0) made just two mistakes on the night as he served up solo home runs to Sarlin Castro and Judge in the second and fifth innings, respectively.
"I know the ball flies here and it showed," De Leon said of the two solo shots allowed.
The 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico grew up idolizing the Boston Red Sox and wanted nothing more than to beat the Yankees in just his second big league start.
"It was electric," he said of the atmosphere. "Everything I expected. I was a little more nervous than I was in LA. I grew up Red Sox fan, so I really wanted to beat the Yankees."
De Leon did exactly that, earning his second consecutive MLB victory allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
"He was good. His poise is off the charts," Roberts said of De Leon. "He has two Major League wins under his belt. After Doger Stadium and Yankee Stadium, it all goes downhill from here."
Bryan Mitchell (1-1) got banged around by the Dodgers bats in just his second start of the season for the Yankees. The right-hander allowed six runs (two earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts in the loss.
"Guys were putting the bat on the ball and we were able to get runners on and mix it up a little bit," added Kendrick. "We came back today and put up a win and that's big for us."
Los Angeles currently holds a three-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West with the Northern California rivals hosting the San Diego Padres later in the evening.
Players of the Game:
Yasiel Puig: 3rd home run since called up on Sept. 1
Justin Turner: Team-leading 27th home run of the season.
Jose De Leon: Second career win.
1. Historic Rivalry: The East Coast/West Coast rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees is one of the longest running rivalries in baseball. The first meeting between the two teams occurred in 1903 when the Brooklyn Dodgers hosted the Yankees who were then known as the New York Highlanders. Since that game, the two teams have met in the World Series 11 times.
2. West Coast is the Best Coast: Thanks to the legion of loyal Dodger fans known as Pantone 294, the Los Angeles Dodgers were well represented in the Bronx. The Dodger Blue faithful was loud and raucous all night, and drowned out the pinstripe people throughout the game. At one point, the Dodger fans even did the Yankees roll call from left field.
3. The Steal: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is responsible for one of the most famous steals in the history of baseball when he stole second in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS at Fenway Park against the Yankees. New York was leading the series 3-0 and Game 4, 4-3 in the ninth. Roberts stole second, scored to tie the game and the Red Sox went on to win the series and the pennant. On Monday, Roberts called a double steal with runners on first and third and the move worked as Yankees' catcher Gary Sanchez threw the ball into centerfield allowing Josh Reddick to score on the errant throw.
Will the official scorer give Josh Reddick a steal of home? — Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) September 13, 2016
Dodgers (81-62): Julio Urias likely makes his last start of the season for Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Yankees (76-67): C.C. Sabathia gets the start on Tuesday night at 4:05 PM PST.
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