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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.

Voit stays hot, offense comes through in late innings in 5-1 win vs A’s

J.A. Happ pitched a spectacular game, lasting 6+ innings and only giving up 1 run on 2 hits on only 78 pitches. Happ had just the one blemish, a line similar to his tenure with the Yankees; that one blemish being his last start against the Tigers where Happ lasted just 4.1 innings and giving up 5 runs on 10 hits. J.A. bounced back very well, possibly making a case to be the Wild Card Game starter. Meanwhile the Yankee offense blew up in the final three frames to give the Yankees a big 5-1 victory in Oakland.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images



The one run on an otherwise stellar performance came in the second inning, when Happ gave up a solo home run to Stephen Piscotty, the A’s only run of the game.

The Yankees decided to wait a while to score their first run, just to make things interesting for the fans who decided to stay up to watch the west coast game. After getting utterly dominated by Liam Hendriks and Daniel Mengden to the tune of 5.2 innings, 1 hit, and 0 runs, the Bombers finally scored their first run in the seventh inning. After Gardy worked himself a long at-bat which finally ended in an infield single, Giancarlo Stanton singled him over, and then the newcomer Andrew McCutchen worked himself an 8-pitch walk after falling down early in the count 1-2. Aaron Hicks came to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out and did what Aaron Hicks does, working the count full and working a walk. Jeurys Familia then struck out Miggy Andujar and Gary Sanchez and finally passed the baton onto Fernando Rodney, who got Neil Walker to foul out to third base and keep the game knotted at one a piece.

After the disappointment of the seventh inning, the legend that is Louis Linwood Voit III continued to rake. Stop me if you have heard this one before, but Luke Voit hit a home run that tied the game/gave the Yankees a lead. Of his seven home runs with the Yankees (all in his last 12 games), five of them have tied the game or given the team the lead. Greg Bird has had four such home runs all season. This one King Louis III hit led off the inning and gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Following the leadoff home run, Gleyber Torres had a four-pitch walk and Gardner grounded into a fielder’s choice, replacing Gleyber at first. Following a Stanton strikeout, McCutchen worked himself another walk, and then Aaron Hicks drove in additional run to grow the Yankee lead to 3-1; with McCutchen getting thrown out at third to end the inning.

Zach Britton came into the game in the eighth inning and had a clean inning to continue his good recent play. In the top of the ninth inning, Adeiny Hechavarria (who came in as a defensive sub for Andujar, moving Torres to second and Walker to third) hit a leadoff home run to further extend the Yankee lead. Later in the inning Gary Sanchez scored on an infield single by Gardner after advancing to third on a wild pitch earlier in the at-bat. After all was said and done, the Yankees had built themselves a 5-1 lead.

Dellin Betances had a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to secure the win and hopefully propel this Yankee team into a hot stretch of baseball headed into the home stretch of the season.

What’s Next?
Luis Severino looks to build off of his longest start since early August as the Yankees take on Mike Fiers for the first time since his controversial liked tweet. First pitch at 10:05 PM, tune in to see Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball 500 feet!

Article by: Nick Simonelli

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