Backed by Severino's strong start and Aaron Hicks' two homers, Yankees complete sweep of Rays

The Yankees came into tonight's series finale against the Tampa Rays looking to win their fourth consecutive contest. A combination of strong pitching and a pair of home runs helped propel New York to a series sweep with a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Photo Credit: Yankees Twitter

Coming off a shaky start against Baltimore last week (5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 6 K), Luis Severino toed the rubber tonight looking for a bounce-back effort. That is exactly what the Yankees got from the 23-year-old, as he hurled seven strong innings while only giving up two runs. He showed great control, striking out 11 Rays batters while only allowing one walk. The only real mistake Sevy made came in the third inning, when he hung a 2-2 fastball to Peter Bourjos. The righty was all over the pitch, and deposited it deep into the left field seats. While mistakes like that need to be minimized, this was a very encouraging start for Severino, and it is hopeful that he can carry this momentum for many starts to come.

The Yankees, which boast the third highest scoring offense in the American League, failed to get produce much early on against Matt Andriese and the Tampa Bay bullpen. Aaron Hicks hit a home run into the short porch in right field to give the Bombers a quick 1-0 advantage in the first inning. Over the next five innings, the Yankees went 0-for-5 with RISP while leaving six men on base. In the seventh inning, New York found themselves one out away from stranding yet another baserunner. The revitalized Aaron Hicks had different plans, however. Xavier Cedeno tried to sneak a curveball by him, but he clobbered the ball into the left field seats to give the Bombers a 3-2 lead that they wouldn’t surrender. He becomes the first Yankee to homer from both sides of the plate since Mark Teixeira accomplished it on July 31, 2015.

Photo Credit: Yankees Twitter
Through the first week and a half of the season, Hicks has looked like a completely different player than last year. Fans have seen a much better approach from him at the plate, and he has shown more patience and discipline than at any other time since he was acquired from the Twins. Back in January, our very own Andrew Natalizio wrote that Hicks had the opportunity for a major bounce-back season. Although the 2017 campaign is still young, the early returns have been very promising.
The bullpen locked down the final six outs, but not without some nervous moments in the eighth. Dellin Betances came into the game and promptly found himself in major trouble. A walk and a single put runners on the corners with no outs in the inning. Dellin prevented any further damage, as two strikeouts and a tapper back to the mound ended the threat without allowing the tying run to score. Aroldis Chapman earned the save in the ninth. He struck out two while working around a single to help the Yankees finish the game.
Tomorrow night, the Yankees begin a rare interleague series as the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Bronx. Masahiro Tanaka (0-1, 11.74 ERA) will be searching for his first win of the season as he will oppose Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.50 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.
Winning Pitcher: Luis Severino (1-0, 4.50 ERA): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 11 K, 1 HR
Losing Pitcher: Xavier Cedeno (1-1, 9.00 ERA): 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Save: Aroldis Chapman (2)

Aaron Hicks: 2-3, 2 HR (1,2), 3 RBI, 2 R
Greg Bird: 0-4, 3 K
Austin Romine: 2-3, 2B
Aroldis Chapman: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, SV
Matt Andriese: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Peter Bourjos: 1-3, HR (1), RBI, R

Article by: Dan DeGregorio
Follow me on Twitter: @DanDeGregs
Follow the BBB: @BronxBomberBall


Popular posts from this blog

Introducing Bronx Bomber Bets: BBBets 9/23

An Unofficial Guide to Food Options at Yankee Stadium

Frankie Crosetti: “King of Rings”