HOUSTON – The kids are fine.
Rolling out a roster featuring six players aged 24 or under – five of whom are still rookies – is bound to have many ups and downs.
But the Yankees had enough on Saturday night to come away with another win, 5-4 over the Astros at Minute Maid Park, with all six youngsters participating.
Oswald Peraza, 23, had his most productive game of the season with a three-hit night.
The last four batters on the lineup — Austin Wells (24), Everson Pereira (22), Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera (24) — each had a run. Jasson Dominguez (20) and Anthony Volpe (22) also scored a point.
Volpe also showed stronger defense with a jump shot into the hole at shortstop in the fifth inning to help fellow rookie right-hander Jhony Brito, who delivered 3 ⅔ innings of scoreless relief.
Overall, the young players represented themselves well – with the help, of course, of the reliable old Aaron Judge – to secure a second straight series victory for the Yankees (67-69) – the first time they accomplish this feat since the end. June. They have now won five of their last six games.
Clay Holmes made the save in the ninth inning, much to the disappointment of the 41,427 sold-out crowd.
Luis Severino, who had just won back-to-back games without a goal, was not as sharp on Saturday while being forced to expend more energy. The right-hander needed 104 pitches to throw four innings — in which he allowed four runs on six hits and one walk — with the Astros (77-60) fouling on 41 of those pitches.
Giancarlo Stanton started the second inning with a single before the bottom of the Yankees roster came out against Astros right-hander Hunter Brown.
Volpe and Pereira both walked to charge the bases with one out before Peraza delivered a single to shallow center field to take a 1-0 lead.
Cabrera came next and trailed 1-2 before hanging up some tight shots to get a walk that forced Volpe to make it 2-0.
But after DJ LeMahieu got into a double play to waste a chance to do more damage, the Astros tied the game late in the set.
Severino walked Jose Abreu on a 13-pitch home plate appearance to start the inning before Michael Brantley punched in an 0-2 cutter for a two-run homer to make it 2-2.
He then threw 40 pitches in that inning – although only one other runner reached base – but escaped further damage.
Judge started the third inning by smashing his second homer in as many nights and his 31st in his 82nd game of the season.
This one was a shot from 428 feet that put the Yankees up 3-2.
The Astros took the lead late in the fourth on another two-point shot against Severino.
Brantley had a one-out single before rookie catcher Yainer Diaz, on his seventh pitch at bat, hit a two-run homer the other way to make it 4-3.
But the Yankees once again had an immediate response in the top of the fifth.
The judge started with a walk, then went first to third when Dominguez hit a hard ground fly ball that went under the glove of second baseman Mauricio Dubon for an error.
After Volpe walked to charge the bases, Wells hit a sacrificial fly that tied the game.
Pereira then fielded a single down the middle to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.