The Yankees did not start the game well. Masahiro Tanaka gave up a run in the first, then one more in the second - he's now allowed 6 of his 13 runs this year in that frame. He had 43 pitches after two.
#TANAK would not be denied. He was going to go 4-0. Even bad Tanaka was a CC Sabathia you would be proud of. 7 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 K, 0 BB was enough to fend off the Rays.
The Yankees didn't have a hit through three innings, and it kind of felt like one of those days the bats would be a bit slower, the runs would be hard to come by. It was a quick turnaround from the night before.
But Mark Teixeira said "Nah, I got this." He went deep to right in the 4th to cut it to 3-2, then he brought in another run in the 7th with a scorcher to right, through the shift. He'd finish 2/4 with a Home Run & 3 RBIs. He's now hit 4 HRs in his last 5 games.
The funky bunch followed suit - Jacoby Ellsbury turned in a 3/4 performance in the leadoff spot, Ichiro doubled twice to get in on the fun, and Kelly Johnson went yard to right, which put the Yankees up for good in the game.
Jake Odorizzi retired every Yankee the first time through the order, then he allowed 6 to reach base the next time through. He left after 5+, giving up 3 runs, 5 Hits, and walking 2.
Dellin Betances also made an appearance in this one, with Kelley and Warren unavailable. He worked an inning, gave up a hit, and struck out two. Preston Claiborne saw some action, too - finishing the game with a perfect ninth, and striking out one.
The Yankees are now 16-13, keeping them afloat atop the division with the Orioles. Tampa Bay (14-17) falls behind Boston in the standings with the loss.
- Jacoby Ellsbury is now hitting .346. That's pretty good.
- Masahiro Tanaka improved to 4-0, and was able to get through 7 innings throwing just 113 pitches.
- The Yankees ripped apart Josh Lueke for 3 runs in 2 innings. It was heroic.
- The wave broke out in the 7th inning of a two-run game. Come on, guys. Come on.
- The Yankees left the bases loaded in the 5th, and stranded 7 all game. They had the 5th-worst wRC+ with RISP in the league entering Saturday.
- #TANAK only struck out 5, a season-low.
Ellsbury is hitting .444 with a .484 OBP vs. the Rays this season (Jeff Quagliata, YES)...Mark Teixeira said postgame that he's rusty, which is cool to think that was a rusty Mark Teixeira...I discovered before the game Brian Roberts is enjoying his highest LD% since 2005 (27%)...he also has a 2-game hitting streak...Mark Teixeira now has a 5-game hitting streak...Alfonso Soriano is stuck on 996 hits while playing in the American League...to watch tomorrow - Derek Jeter is 1 run away from tying Tris Speaker for 11th place on MLB's all-time runs scored list with 1,882