Thanks to a bomb by Ronald Torreyes and a sharp performance by CC Sabathia, the New York Yankees were able to secure their first win of 2017. 

  • New York Yankees: 5 (1-1)
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 0 (1-1)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
After a disappointing start to the 2017 season on Monday, the New York Yankees were able to take the middle game of the opening three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 5-0 in an all-around effort.

CC Sabathia dazzled in his first start of his 17th season in the major leagues by holding the Rays to no runs on three hits while striking out two over five innings of work. While the southpaw’s performance set the tone, it was the 5-foot-10 shortstop Ronald Torreyes who stole headlines with his two-run bomb in the third inning off Jake Odorizzi.

Didi Gregorius‘ replacement hit just one homer in 169 plate appearances last season, but it took only three at-bats for his first dinger of this season to transpire.

It was also the first home run for the Bombers this season and kicked off what would end up being a three-run third inning for New York. Four batters after the dinger and two batters after a Brett Gardner double, Matt Holliday skied a pop-up that ended up going down as a double after it hit off the roof of the Trop to score Gardner.

Three innings later, third baseman Chase Headley, who’s off to a hot start in a year in which he’s feeling some pressure, also took Odorizzi deep to extend the Yankee lead to 4-0.

The second game of the young season seemed to be going ultra-smoothly for New York until it progressed into the eighth inning.

Righty reliever Jonathan Holder surrendered back-to-back singles to Steven Sousa Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier after striking out Corey Dickerson which provoked manager Joe Girardi to hand the ball to the reliever with the most strikeouts since 2014, Dellin Betances.

After walking Evan Longoria, Betances struck out Rickie Weeks on a nasty slider then got Logan Morrison to ground out weakly to first baseman Greg Bird to end the threat unharmed.

In the ninth, closer Aroldis Chapman came on to secure the Yankees first win of the 2017 regular season by striking out Brad Miller, getting Derek Norris to ground out to short and sent Daniel Robertson down on strikes to seal the deal.

Right Where He Left Off:

Sabathia, coming off his best season since 2012, was back to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke and certainly got off to a promising start.

Over five innings, the revitalized lefty induced eight ground ball outs with excellent execution with the cutter that was so effective last year.

Since August 23, 2016, Sabathia owns a 2.15 ERA in nine starts and with a rotation that contains no stability on a developing team, his performance and mentorship as a veteran leader is invaluable.

Web Gem:

In the bottom of the first inning during Tuesday night’s contest with the Tampa Bay Rays, Ellsbury erased what would have been a RBI double by Rickie Weeks Jr. with a leaping catch on a deep fly ball.

Sabathia left an 84 mph changeup over the plate to Weeks, who scorched a line drive to deep center. Ellsbury, who won a gold glove with the Boston Red Sox in 2011, used his game-changing speed and impeccable jump off the bat to track it down, time the line drive’s descension and snag it before the first inning got out of hand for the second consecutive day.

Holy Shift:

Has it ever frustrated you that left-handed hitters rarely exploit the shift? Well, Chase Headley is the player for you!

On Opening Day, the Yankee third baseman beat the shift three times on a perfectly placed bunt and two singles down the left field line with the use of what seemed like a magic wand.

On Tuesday, Headley poked yet another one through the left side in the top of the eighth inning off Austin Pruitt which scored Ellsbury from third. He is now 4-for-for against the shift here in 2017 and is 164-for-531 (.309) over his eight-year career, according to FanGraphs.

What’s Next: 

The Bombers will try to make this series a winning one in the rubber game of this three-game set on Wednesday night with Michael Pineda on the hill for the first time in 2017.

Last season, the 28-year-old right-hander became one of just five pitchers in major league baseball history to maintain an ERA over 4.80, give up 25 or more home runs and to strikeout over 200 batters. Against Tampa Bay, Pineda surrendered 22 runs (20 ER) and eight home runs five starts (7.30 ERA).

Going for the Rays will be Alex Cobb, who missed all of 2015 and the majority of last season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. He appeared in five games and went 1-2 with a 8.59 ERA in 2016 but in his last full season (2014), he surrendered just three runs in 20.2 innings over three starts against the Yankees (1.74 ERA).

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field and can be seen on FOX Sports 1 or heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.