Romine Breaks Tie, New Pen Closes Out Astros In 2-1 Yankees Win

HOUSTON — Austin Romine hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning to make a winner of Michael Pineda, and the New York Yankees' bullpen did just fine Monday night without star closer Aroldis Chapman in a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Hours after New York traded Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, All-Star relievers Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller closed out the Astros to help the fourth-place Yankees (51-48) move three games above .500 for the first time this season.

Betances struck out the side in the eighth before Miller, back in the ninth-inning role following Chapman's departure, earned his eighth save. The fired-up lefty pumped his fist when he got Carlos Gomez to ground into a game-ending double play with two on.

Pineda (5-9) pitched seven strong innings to beat Yankees nemesis Dallas Keuchel (6-10), last year's AL Cy Young Award winner.

A-Rod Sits Again

Alex Rodriguez, who has been mired in a slump, was out of the lineup for a third straight game.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Astros lefthander Dallas Keuchel has been tough on Rodriguez, but the decision was more to keep Carlos Beltran in the lineup. Beltran had hit .305 this season with 21 home runs and 62 RBI entering Monday.

Rodriguez came into Monday 4-for-31 with one home run in July and batting .206 this season with nine home runs and 29 RBI. He has been a regular in the lineup against lefthanders and had played more against righties since the All-Star break. He started seven times during New York's recent 10-game homestand and hit his 696th career homer in a 2-1 win over Baltimore on July 18.

"He wants to be in there," Girardi said. "I get that. I don't want a player who's content not being in there. His time's going to come. He's going to get more chances."

Despite the benching, Rodriguez is optimistic he can turn it around after speaking to members of the Yankees' baseball operations department.

"My job is to work hard and be ready when my number is called," Rodriguez said. "I am optimistic about the future. I've met with our sabermetrics department, and a lot of the numbers are trending in the right direction. There's no question that for the first two months, my mechanics were out of whack. I think I found something, and I'm excited to put it into play."

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