Solid start to the homestand, I’d say. The Yankees used the tried and true formula of quality pitching and multiple home runs to beat the Rays in Friday night’s series opener. The final score was 5-2. It’s Friday night — Friday night before a holiday weekend at that — so let’s recap with bullet points:
- Four Hits, Five Runs: The Yankees had four hits in the game and three left the yard. Brian McCann was involved in all three homers too. He walked to set up Alex Rodriguez’s two-run shot in second, hit a solo homer in the fourth, then walked to set up Greg Bird’s two-run shot in the seventh. McCann is now 11-for-17 (.647) with three doubles, three homers, two walks, and one strikeout against Jake Odorizzi. I’m guessing he sees him well.
- Lights Out Luis: For the first time in his big league career, Luis Severino threw a pitch in the seventh inning. He started out a little shaky — four of the first eight men he faced reached base — but settled down and held Tampa to one run on seven hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. He struck out five. The run came on an Evan Longoria solo homer. Severino only threw 91 pitches and seemed to have plenty left in the tank, but Joe Girardi opted for a fresh reliever in the seventh before things spiraled out of control. Severino has a 2.04 ERA in six starts. What a lift he’s been.
- The Final Outs: Justin Wilson got two fly outs to end any threat of a rally in the seventh, preserving Severino’s win. Adam Warren struck out two in a perfect eighth, allowed a run on a single and a double in the ninth, then Andrew Miller came in to record the final two outs on four pitches. He struck out one. Miller has saved 30 games in 31 chances. Stress-free win, I’d say. Especially after Bird’s homer stretched the lead to 5-1.
- Leftovers: The one non-homer hit? That was a Brett Gardner infield single. McCann drew the only walks. Six base-runners all game, that’s it. Five came around to score. Dingers are great. Long live dingers … the 4-5-6 hitters went 3-for-7 (.429) with two walks (.556 OBP). The rest of the lineup went 1-for-21 (.048) … Jacoby Ellsbury left the game in the fifth inning with an upset stomach, the Yankees announced. After the game they said he’s day-to-day with flu-like symptoms.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. The magic number to clinch a postseason spot is 23. Here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Rays continue this three-game series with the middle game Saturday afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi and Matt Moore will be the pitching matchup. Head over to RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game or any of the other eight games on the homestand live.