Thanks to just enough offense and some stellar bullpen work, the Yankees eked out a 5-4 win in their series opener against the Rays on Friday night. It was a one-man show at the plate and four-reliever show on the mound. It’s Friday night, so let’s recap with bullet points:
- Ten More Years!: Imagine where this team would be with Alex Rodriguez. He’s a one-man army. Solo homer in the second, game-tying two-run homer in the sixth, go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. Alex drove in four of the team’s five runs and had three of their five hits. According to MLBAM, A-Rod‘s first homer was the longest of the year (471 feet) and his second was the hardest hit of the year (115.3 mph exit velocity). Like in all of MLB. Goodness.
- Back-to-Back: Through three innings, Adam Warren made it look like this starter thing just might work. He allowed two singles in those three innings before things came apart in the fourth following the daily defensive miscue — Mark Teixeira couldn’t scoop a throw from Didi Gregorius. It hit him right in the glove. A walk and back-to-back homers followed, the first a three-run shot by Allan Dykstra the second a solo homer by Logan Forsythe. Four runs on six hits and two walks in only four innings for Warren. Not good enough.
- Team Strength: The bullpen is supposed to be a strength this year and relief crew rebounded nicely from Wednesday’s meltdown. Esmil Rogers picked up Warren with 2.1 scoreless innings, Justin Wilson struck out the only batter he faced, Dellin Betances allowed a hit in a scoreless inning, and Andrew Miller nailed down the four-out save. Five scoreless innings, two hits, one walk, seven strikeouts for the bullpen. That’s the plan right there.
- Leftovers: A-Rod’s dingers were the 657th and 658th of his career, so he’s two away from tying Willie Mays for fourth place all-time and triggering his first $6M bonus. Could be tomorrow! … Brett Gardner stole a base ahead of Rodriguez’s single in the eighth, so props to him. He was pinch-running for Carlos Beltran, who singled … Stephen Drew hit a solo, his third dinger of the year … And finally, A-Rod called Betances and Miller the “Twins Towers” after the game. That’ll work for a nickname.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Announcer Standings page, just because. The Yankees and Rays will continue this three-game series in a nationally televised FOX Sports 1 game on Saturday night. Blah. Masahiro Tanaka and Jake Odorizzi will be the pitching matchup.