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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.

Tanaka fans eight, offense comes alive in Yankee win


Over the last two weeks the Yankees have been playing subpar baseball. They are 6-8 over their last 14 games and are coming off two straight losses to the Twins. This bad stretch of ball has let the Oakland A’s creep into the first wild card spot discussion as they sit just 1.5 games behind the Yanks.
The Yankees need a series win against the Toronto Blue Jays in their first game at home since September 2nd to help solidify their playoff position. A solid start from Masahiro Tanaka paired with an offensive outbreak helped the Yankees get back on track with an 11-0 win over the Jays.

The Yankee lineup came out firing in the bottom of the first. Andrew McCutchen led off with a walk and there was no looking back. A walk from Stanton followed by a single to left for Aaron Hicks gave the Yanks their first run of the ballgame. Didi Gregorious grounded out but it allowed Stanton to score, increasing the lead to two. Two-out hits from Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit uped the Yankee lead to 5-0 before Blue Jays starter Marcus Estrada was able to get out of the frame.

Photo Credit: Bill Kostrou/AP
The Yankees added three more runs in the third thanks to a two-out rally. A walk from Luke Voit had runners on first and second for Brett Gardner who singled to center. Andrew McCutchen followed Gardner with a walk, loading the bases for Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton punched one to right, increasing the Yankee lead to eight. 

Andrew McCutchen added a solo blast in the fifth to make it 9-0.

The offense wasn't done as they managed to tack on two more runs in the eighth via a Gregorious solo homer and a wild double-play that allowed Kyle Higashioka to cross the plate.

Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun/AP

On the mound, Masahiro Tanaka dominated the young Blue Jay lineup. He allowed four hits and two walks over six innings pitched. Tanaka is making a strong case to be the Yankees starter in the wild card game as he won his third straight start on Friday night.

Luis Cessa replaced Tanaka in the seventh inning. In just his thirteenth big league appearance this year, Cessa held the Jays lineup down. He finished the game out, allowing four bases runners while striking out four batters.
Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun/AP
WP:Masahiro Tanaka: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8 K.
LP:Marcus Estrada: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 3 BB.

Player Notables:
NYY:
-       A. McCutchen: 3-for-3, 2B, HR, 2 BB.
-       Gary Sanchez: 3-for-4, 2B, BB, R.
-       D. Gregorious: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI.

What’s Next?

The Yankees will continue their weekend series with the Blue Jays on Saturday with a 4:00 EST first pitch time scheduled. CC Sabathia will take the hill for the Yanks looking for his first win since August 12th. Rookie Sean Reid-Foley will make his fifth start for Toronto.


Article By: Shane Black

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