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Breaking: Yankees acquire LHP James Paxton in exchange for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson, and OF Dom Thompson-Williams

The Yankees have made their first splash of the offseason by acquiring the Big Maple, James Paxton, from the Seattle Mariners. Fresh off his second-consecutive season at the top of the Mariner’s rotation, Paxton did not come cheap as the Yankees traded away their top prospect, Justus Sheffield, along with breakout prospects Erik Swanson and Dominic Thompson-Williams.

Sonny Gray implodes as Yanks drop series finale to Rays

The New York Yankees dropped the third game in the series to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 at Yankee Stadium as the away team avoids the sweep. Pitcher Sonny Gray had a tough start, only throwing 4.2 innings and allowing six runs. The highly touted trade piece has yet to figure out his late season form and may be playing himself into a bullpen position come playoff time, as this game represents his last start before the postseason.

photo from New York Yankees

The Yankees responded quickly to an early lead from the Rays by putting three runs up in the first two innings. Brett Gardner hit a home run followed by Aaron Judge who knocked his 51st shot of the season. Todd Frazier extended the lead with a single in the second inning, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury. A home-run by Greg Bird extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning but the Yankees were unable to hold onto said lead.

The fifth inning was where the game fell apart for New York. Sonny Gray, who had pitched a one-run game to that point, had a disastrous inning, surrendering five runs and getting the hook for the loss. The inning was compounded by two passed balls by Gary Sanchez and a home-run by Wilson Ramos. Suddenly, New York went from having a strong 4-1 lead to trailing 8-4. Starlin Castro brought in Brett Gardner with a single in the bottom of the frame but couldn't put enough of a dent in the lead to give the Yankees a fighting chance. The Rays wold tack on one more in the sixth.

photo from Tampa Bay Rays

Outside of an Aaron Hicks solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees failed to put together a rally. The loss ends the Yankees winning streak at three games but has no effect on their playoff standing. The team is resting as much talent as possible ahead of a Wild Card game against their potential opponents the Minnesota Twins. 

Winning Pitcher: Tommy Hunter (4-5, 2.22 ERA) 1 IP,  R, H, HR
Losing Pitcher: Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA) 4.2 IP, 6 R, 6 H, 5 K, 2 HR

Aaron Judge: 1-3, H, RBI, HR, BB
Greg Bird: 1-3, H, RBI, HR
Brett Gardner: 1-2, H, RBI, HR, 2 BB
Corey Dickerson: 2-5, 2 H, 2 R, RBI, HR
Wilson Ramos: 1-4, H, 2 RBI, HR, BB

Article by: Anthony Merced