Two wins in a row! A series win! The Yankees accomplished both for the first time this season on Saturday night, blowing out the Rays by the score of 9-0. This was actually a pitchers duel for the first six innings. Time to recap with bullet points, because it’s Saturday night:
- #TANAK: For the first time in 2015, Masahiro Tanaka looked like the guy we saw before his injury last year. He pitched to all four quadrants with his fastball, unleashed some devastating splitters, and kept hitters off balance with an array of breaking balls. Seven innings, two hits, no walks, eight strikeouts, 85 pitches. He could have gone back out for the eighth had he not sat on the bench for 45 minutes during the team’s big seventh inning. Hooray Masahiro!
- Seven-Run Seventh: The Yankees scored their first two runs on a Brian McCann triple, of all things. The ball hit off the very top of the right field wall and rolled away from the outfielder. First triple of the year for the Yankees. Go figure. The seven-run seventh was an old school Yankees rally — long at-bats, walks, base hits, and the big blow to cap it off. Eight of the first ten batters in the inning reached base and the two outs were sac flies. Chris Young put an exclamation point on the inning with a grand slam off Grant Balfour, who was designated for assignment after the game. Gregorio Petit made two of the three outs in the inning.
- Leftovers: Branden Pinder loaded the bases in the ninth but escaped unscathed … Jacoby Ellsbury (two), Brett Gardner (two), and McCann (three) all had multiple hits … everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least twice other than Mark Teixeira and Petit … the Yankees scored at least five runs in an inning twice this week after doing it only nine times all of last season.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. The Yankees will look to finish off the much-needed series sweep on Sunday afternoon, when Michael Pineda gets the ball against rookie righty Matt Andriese.
Minor League Update: Sorry folks, no DotF tonight, but you can find the box scores right here. Ramon Flores hit another homer, Aaron Judge had two hits, and Jorge Mateo had two hits, two walks, and three stolen bases. Also, Andrew Bailey struck out two in a perfect inning.