Luis Gil ‘superb’ for Yankees again in win over Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Before Luis Gil made his sixth and final start of the month, manager Aaron Boone called his May “great.”

The right-hander is like someone who told the Yankees manager not to drink beer.

Gill capped off a great month with his first career eight complete inning performance, leading the Yankees to a 2-1 victory over the Angels on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium.

In the eight innings that required an efficient 95 pitches, Gill allowed just two hits (one of which was a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh), two walks and one run while striking out nine batters.

He broke his previous career high of 6 1/3 innings.

Luis Gil led the Yankees to victory again. Getty Images

Clay Holmes made things interesting in the ninth inning, getting the first two runners on base before getting through two grounders to secure Gill’s seventh win for the Yankees (38-19).

In six starts this month, Gill gave up just three runs in 38 2/3 innings for a 0.70 ERA, essentially his debut after a strong April in which he posted a 4.01 ERA in five starts.

In the process, he struck out 44 batters and walked 12, while holding opponents to a batting average of just .109 (14 hits for 129 at-bats).

Gill, who was optioned to minor league spring training in early March and named as a replacement for the injured Gerrit Cole later that month, is a favorite to start in the MLB All-Star Game in July for the American League. He has posted a 1.99 ERA in 11 starts.

“The talent that always jumps off the page and off the screen has been there all year and will continue to be there,” Boone said before his ejection in the first inning on a controversial double play. “But he’s matured, he’s evolved, he’s gained experience and that helps him. He’s taking more and more of those talents. I feel like his overall combination of pitches is getting better and better. When you go out there with that skill set and execute on it, this is what happens.”

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil pitches to Los Angeles Angels batters in the top of the first inning. AP

Gill also became the 16th consecutive Yankees starter to pitch at least five innings and allow two runs or fewer, extending an MLB record that was broken by the Yankees on Tuesday night.

Alex Verdugo hit an inside sinker for a home run in the top of the fourth, his second home run in three games to give Gil the lead.

Anthony Volpe, who had extended his hitting streak to 21 earlier in the day, fought hard in the seventh inning to double the lead.

Volpe had a highlight play at shortstop in the bottom of the sixth, diving to his right to field a grounder and throwing to first base for the out, then smashed a liner down the right field line as leadoff hitter in the top of the seventh.

Alex Verdugo hit a solo home run to help the Yankees win the game. AP

The ball rolled to the corner and Volpe got on his horse and started for third place.

He dove for safety, but the relay throw bounced out of the park and hit third baseman Luis Guillorme’s leg.

Volpe took a few seconds to regain his composure before running back home with a smile on his face as the crowd gave him a standing ovation and the Yankees’ lead increased to 2-0.

The run was key as Logan O’Hoppe hit a home run off Gill in the bottom of the seventh to end a streak of 11 straight batters out.

The night started in strange fashion, with Boone being taken out in the top of the first inning after protesting a controversial call.

With the Yankees loaded and no outs, Giancarlo Stanton hit a pop fly to second base that was quickly ruled an infield fly.

Juan Soto slowly backed up to second base, and just as he was about to step into second base, shortstop Zach Neto reached back and collided with Soto.

Anthony Volpe scored a Little League home run. Getty Images

Second base umpire Vic Carapazza called Soto out for interference, resulting in a double play, eliminating any chance of a comeback and sending Boone to the clubhouse early.