The Yankees started their three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.
Here are some key takeaways …
– DJ LeMahieu got things started right away for the Yankees, pulling a double down the third-base line off of Shane McCalanahan. With the first-inning double, LeMahieu extended his on-base streak to 36 games, the longest in the majors this season.
Then, in his first at-bat since coming off the COVID-19 IL, Aaron Judge smoked a single to left to put runners on the corners with nobody out. But after loading the bases, Gleyber Torres bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, a sight the Yankees have seen way too much of this season. Judge, by the way, ended up 1-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch.
– McClanahan and Jordan Montgomery traded scoreless innings over the first four frames, but the Yankees had their chances with runners on base. Through their first four innings at the plate, the Yankees went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base.
– The Yankees finally broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth. Greg Allen ripped a double to left to lead off the inning, and LeMahieu did what he does best, punching a single to right to score a hustling Allen and put the Yankees up 1-0.
-Montgomery pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just five hits, but his pitch count was up to 102 by the end of the fifth, and his night came to a close there. He struck out five and walked three, while pitching himself out of some jams.
– The Yankees tacked on a pair of crucial runs off McClanahan in the top of the sixth, as Gio Urshela lined a two-run double to left-center. Rougned Odor ran through a stop sign at third base, but it worked out as he slid home safely to put the Yankees up 3-0.
– Chad Green entered with a three-run lead in the sixth, but he quickly allowed a two-run blast to Brandon Lowe to cut the Yankees’ lead to one. But the Yankees would get one of those runs back in the top of the eighth, as Ryan LaMarre barreled a ball the opposite way to right for his second home run of the season to put the Yankees up 4-2.
– Jonathan Loaisiga pitched an easy seventh inning, but the eighth inning was a different story for Zack Britton allowed an RBI double to Randy Arozarena to cut the lead to one. Fortunately for Britton, he was able to induce a double play to end the inning, but it was a shaky outing for the lefty.
-In the top of the ninth, the Yankees put two on with no outs but failed to score, setting the stage for Aroldis Chapman in a one-run game in the bottom half. Chapman looked dialed in with his fastball, as he recorded the first two outs easily. He walked Wander Franco, but struck out Nelson Cruz to end the game
– The Yankees were just 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base as a team, but they found a way to win.
The Yankees and Rays go head-to-head again on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.
Nestor Cortes Jr. will start for the Yankees against RHP Michael Wacha.
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