Game 9 Recap: Sweep! Yankees 3, Rays 2

I wasn’t home until about halfway through last night’s game and didn’t have time to write a recap afterward, so I’m going to keep this one short. Here’s what you need to know about the Yankees’ 3-2 victory against Tampa Bay:

  • Aaron Hicks was responsible for the Yankees’ offense. In the first inning, batting left-handed, he touched off for a solo homer against Matt Andriese. Later, in the seventh, with the Yankees down 2-1 and Jacoby Ellsbury on base, Hicks launched another one vs. Xavier Cedeno. That homer was from the right side of the plate and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. He’s the first Yankee to homer from both sides of the plate since Mark Teixeira in 2015.
  • According to game score, last night was the best outing of Luis Severino’s career. The eye test confirms that as well. Severino was excellent in seven innings of work. He fanned a career-best 11 batters, including four of the last five outs he recorded on the night. He was pumping mid-to-upper 90s fastballs with a diving slider all the way through the end of his outing. From what I saw, it was quite impressive. The Rays’ second inning rally and Peter Bourjos’ solo homer in the fifth didn’t phase him. Keep it up, Sevy.
  • Greg Bird returned to the lineup after missing a few games due to his ankle and the flu. His night wasn’t pretty at the plate. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The one ball in play was struck well to the opposite field, but was run down.
  • The eighth inning was never in doubt, right? Dellin Betances with a one run lead is usually a piece of cake. Not last night, however. Dellin walked Jesus Sucre and surrendered a single to Corey Dickerson to open the frame, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Though it wasn’t looking good, Betances’ ability to generate strikeouts in order to escape jams is still in the back of everyone’s mind. Or, perhaps truly in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. On cue, Betances sent down Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria on strikes. To end the frame, Brad Miller grounded out back to Betances. Easy peasy. In the ninth, Aroldis Chapman worked around a one out single to record his second save of the season.

Here’s the box score from last night’s win and completion of a three-game sweep at home.

Next Game:

The Yankees’ (5-4) first interleague series begins tonight as they play host to the St. Louis Cardinals (3-6). Masahiro Tanaka will look to right the ship after two shaky starts to begin the season. St. Louis will counter with Michael Wacha. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.