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Bullpen Day Thrives, Yanks top Rays 4-1

Entering the last week of the regular season the Yankees opened a four-game set Monday night in the always dreaded trip to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees came into tonight sitting one and a half games (two in the loss column) above the Oakland A’s for home field advantage in the AL Wild Card game. Aaron Boone decided to go with a “bullpen day” tonight instead of giving the ball to a typical starter.

Sabathia excels, Didi’s tiebreaking three-run homer in 7th leads Yankees to 4-1 win

After six strong innings by CC Sabathia (5-4, 2.20 ERA), the Yankees were staring at another game with a low offensive output. Earlier in the sixth, the Yankees loaded the bases with none out, scored a run via a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI single, had the bases loaded again, but could not muster any further runs. However, after Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez reached to start the seventh, Didi Gregorius sent a Fernando Abad pitch over the wall in deep right for a three-run homer, and the Yankees won 4-1 on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

Picture Credit: Associated Press/Ann Heisenfelt

CC Sabathia turned back the clock again, but he had to work through several tough innings. In the second, he faced runners on second and third with one out, but escaped via a strikeout and lineout. Although the Twins struck first with an Eduardo Nunez RBI single in the fourth to lead 1-0, Sabathia kept the Twins offense at a minimum. He worked out of the fifth after two runners reached, and worked a 1-2-3 sixth to complete his outing. Sabathia allowed six hits but struck out seven in 6.0 innings.

Picture Credit: Associated Press/Ann Heisenfelt

With Didi’s homer in the sixth, the Yankees went to “No-Run DMC.” In the seventh, Dellin Betances worked around a single and an error on the same play to keep the lead intact. Andrew Miller earned his tenth hold of the season with a scoreless eighth, and Aroldis Chapman earned his 12th save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

The Yankees are in the midst of a stretch of seven games against the Twins in ten days. With the month of June half over, the Yankees must start winning and get themselves well over .500 by the All-Star Break. Check out the preview for tomorrow’s game and for the rest of the series.

Article by: Bryan Peng
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