Good pitching, one big inning push Yankees over Rays at Citi Field

Coming off a weekend series win against the Texas Rangers, the Yankees returned home to New York to play a series against the Tampa Bay Rays albeit under strange circumstances. Having been displaced from their home stadium by Hurricane Irma, the Rays are hosting this three game set as the home team at Citi Field in Queens. On the anniversary of an emotional day in the history of their city and the country as a whole, the Yankees took the field as visitors at Citi Field and came away with a win behind solid pitching by CC Sabathia and the bullpen and a big fourth inning by the offense.

Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

The first three innings of this game were pretty uneventful, with the Rays pushing across a run in the bottom of the second on an RBI triple by Adeiny Hechavarria and the Yankees managing just one walk. The game started to turn in the bottom of the third inning though. The Rays put runners on first and second with nobody out but after a strikeout by Trevor Plouffe, Kevin Kiermaier overslid the bag at second base and CC was able to escape with no damage by getting Evan Longoria to ground out. It was a turning point in the game because the Yankees would seize control in the top of the fourth.

Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

A leadoff walk to Aaron Judge and a single by Gary Sanchez put runners on the corners with nobody out. After a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius tied the game, the Yankees were given the opportunity to grow their lead when an error at third base by Plouffe allowed the Yankees second run of the night to score and extend the inning. The very next batter was Jacoby Ellsbury, who was celebrating his 34th Birthday. As he has done so many times in the past, Ellsbury reached base on a catcher’s interference, setting the all-time record with 30 for his career. Next up was Todd Frazier who took Ray’s starter Jake Odorizzi deep to left field to cap the inning and give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. After allowing the next two batters to reach base, Odorizzi was lifted from the game having thrown over 50 pitches in the fourth inning alone. The Rays failing to capitalize on their opportunity in the third and then giving the Yankees extra opportunities in the fourth changed the course of this game.

Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo

Although he only allowed one run, CC had runners on base all night and that elevated his pitch count quickly. When the Rays put two men on with one out in the fifth, CC got the quick hook by Joe Girardi who turned to David Robertson. Robertson emerged from the bullpen and struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

After closing out the fifth inning, Robertson pitched through the sixth and seventh innings, giving the team 2.2 innings of shutout ball to get to Dellin Betances. Coming off of a rough outing last time out, Betances was facing a two on, one out situation but buckled down to escape without damage. Newly reappointed closer Aroldis Chapman emerged from the bullpen in the ninth to close the door and secure the win for the Yanks.

Winning Pitcher: David Robertson ( 8-2, 2.10 ERA)
Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi ( 8-8, 4.52 ERA)

The Yankees and the Rays will square off at Citi Field again on Tuesday night with the first pitch coming at 7:05pm. The probable starters are Sonny Gray (9-9, 3.22 ERA) for the Yankees and Blake Snell (3-6, 4.36 ERA) for the Rays.

Aaron Judge: 0-3, R, 2 BB, 2 K
Gary Sanchez: 1-3, R, BB, K
Todd Frazier: 1-4, 3 RBI, R, 2 K
Didi Gregorius: 0-2, RBI, BB, K
David Robertson: 2.2 IP, H, 4 K
Adeiny Hechavarria: 3-4, RBI

Article by Matt Graziano


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