New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have taken their second series of the season thanks to a walk-off home run off the bat of Brett Gardner. 

  • Tampa Bay Rays 2 (7-10)
  • New York Yankees: 3 (7-9)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

By Christian Kouroupakis

Brett Gardner recorded three of the New York Yankees seven hits including the game-tying RBI, and the walk-off home run to drive New York past the Tampa Bay rays, 3-2.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched relatively well, as he missed his spots on a few pitches, but he’s giving the Yankees the one thing they need the most: distance.

Tanaka went seven total innings allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out seven. This is the second consecutive start in which the 26-year old went seven innings.

Highly regarded pitching prospect Blake Snell struck out six while limiting the Bombers to one run on two hits in five innings of work in his impressive Major League debut.

The Rays got offensive production off an RBI double by Corey Dickerson and a Kevin Kiermaier home run, but it wasn’t enough as Gardner led the Yankees to a series victory.

Turning Point Of The Game:

When your offense isn’t running at full throttle, you’ll take anything to score runs.

With New York trailing by one in the bottom of the seventh, a pair of walks followed by the third catcher’s interference in 2016 for Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees threatened to tie the game.

Gardner was up with the bases juiced and came through with an infield single that deflected off the glove of Xavier Cedeno. That granted Brian McCann the right to score and the Yankees tied the game at two. 

Welcome To The K-Zone:

The New York Yankees back end of the bullpen is hands down the best in Major League Baseball.

In the top of the eighth inning, Dellin Betances struck out two of the three batters he faced to not only maintain his 0.00 ERA, but he has struck out 22 of the 35 batters he has faced thus far in 2016.

In the top of the ninth, Andrew Miller struck out one and kept his 0.00 ERA intact as well. The Betances/Miller combination has struck out 22 of the 32 batters they have both faced this homestand.

The twosome is filthy and all, but Aroldis Chapman‘s return on May 9th should have this fan base salivating.

The Streak Is Broken:

Entering today’s ballgame, starting pitchers making their major league debut at Yankee Stadium were on a four-game losing streak.

Dating back to 2011, Garret Richards, Will Smith, Erik Johnson, and Henry Owens each turned in a loss in their first start in the show. Snell’s no decision today snapped that interesting losing streak.

Injury Notes:

The Yankees’ fourth outfielder, Aaron Hicks, left Friday night’s game after aggravating his shoulder on a diving catch attempt. Manager Joe Girardi revealed in the pre-game that he woke up with soreness and sent him for an MRI.

The MRI revealed traumatic shoulder bursitis. A possible stint on the disabled list is certainly possible.

Reliever Branden Pinder also has a partial UCL tear in his right elbow and must decide whether to have Tommy John surgery.

This Day In Yankees’ History:

The Highlanders recorded the first win in franchise history, a 7-2 decision against the Washington Senators on April 23rd, 1903. Harry Howell recorded the victory.

What’s Next:

The Yankees will go for their first series sweep of 2016 tomorrow afternoon at the Stadium.

Drew Smyly (0-2, 2.91 ERA) vs Michael Pineda (1-1, 5.29)

Smyly had all four of his pitches working in his no-decision against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. The lefty tossed eight scoreless innings and only surrendered one hit while striking out 11.

Big Mike’s ERA is still influenced by his season debut against the Houston Astros but he delivered a quality start in his last outing.NYY_300_250_v1

Pineda held the Oakland Athletics to two runs and seven hits over six innings while striking out seven. In seven career starts against the Rays, he is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

Full coverage of the final game of this nine-game homestand will begin at noon on the YES Network with first pitch coming at 1:05 PM ET.

NEXT: The Courage Behind Stealing Home Plate