📌 Join the BPCrew Chapter in your city and meet up with more Yankees fans! 👉 CLICK HERE

Series Recap: Yankees put Rays to sweep

Home cooking was exactly what the New York Yankees needed to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays. In a fight for first place in the AL East, the Bronx Bombers battered the Rays and received sparkling starting pitching to lengthen their lead in the division.

GAME 1

Masahiro Tanaka was zeroed in and posting zeroes for the pinstripes. Tanaka’s outing was exactly what the doctor ordered. The New York defense was equally up to the task behind him. Edwin Encarnacion‘s pinstriped debut didn’t result in any hits but he did work some nice at-bats. A barrage of power also helped the Bronx Bombers secure a 3-0 victory.

MASA’S MONDAY MASTERPIECE

Tanaka was on point and focused and didn’t have any innings where he unraveled. Going the distance, Tanaka recorded a shutout victory. The Rays, who have only scored one run in 22 innings off Tanaka this season, went 0-for-25 against his slider and splitter. Tampa didn’t register a hit until the fourth frame.

Posting a two-hit shutout with 10 K’s, Tanaka became the first Yankee since Mike Mussina in 2002 to do so.

Defensively, Tanaka received help from DJ LeMahieu‘s nice flip to Didi Gregorius in the fifth for an inning-ending force out on a ball hit by Joey Wendle.

Plus, with Tommy Pham at the plate and Austin Meadows on first in the sixth, Tanaka got the old strike ’em out, throw ’em out, double-play on a nice throw and tag by Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres.

It was a huge tone-setting start by Tanaka for sure.

PINSTRIPE POWER

As it gets warmer and more humid the Bronx Bombers are jetting the ball out of the yard. For the twentieth consecutive contest, the Yankees hit a home run.

Following a one-out single by Cameron Maybin in the third inning, LeMahieu staked the squad to a 2-0 advantage with a two-run tater to left-center off Yonny Chirinos.

Maybin, who went 3-for-3 on the evening, brought some power of his own in the fifth. Maybin crushed a 2-1 sinker to left, increasing the New York lead to 3-0.

GAME 2

With Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup, the Yankees played small ball, beat back the Rays’ shifting madness and capped it off with some power ball. The Bronx Bombers extended their consecutive game home run streak to 21 straight. Pitching to the scoreboard also went a long way toward a 6-3 victory.

HUSTLE HELPS

Facing opener Ryne Stanek in the first frame the Yanks hustle helped them earn a run.

LeMahieu reached on an infield single, Voit walked and Aaron Hicks reached on a potential double-play ball to make it runners at the corners with one out.

Sanchez followed by putting the Yankees on the board with a sacrifice fly to center.

HAPP HANDS IT OFF

J.A. Happ wasn’t lights out but did enough to keep New York in the game. With one out in the second three consecutive singles by Kiermaier, Guillermo Heredia and Mike Zunino knotted the game at one. An inning later, Tommy Pham doubled to center to set the table. A one-out RBI-single to right by Avisail Garcia gave the Rays their first lead at 2-1.

Otherwise, Happ would scatter seven hits across five frames while fanning three.

Embed from Getty Images

KILLIN’ ‘EM SOFTLY

During the fifth, the Yankees bounced back with one out against Chaz Roe. Torres and Maybin collected consecutive singles to left. LeMahieu and Voit followed suit with consecutive RBI-singles to left for a 3-2 advantage. With two down, Sanchez doubled the lead by busting the shift with an RBI-single to right-center.

CAM BAM AND PARROT PORCH

The pinstripe power came late but it was well worth the wait.

Facing Oliver Drake in the seventh, Maybin jolted a solo smash to left for a home run. For Maybin, it was his fourth home run in his fourth straight game.

In the eighth, Encarnacion popped a parrot porch shot to right off Andrew Kittredge to cap off the New York scoring.

BULLPEN BOLTS IT DOWN

Adam Ottavino picked it up from Happ in the sixth with a pair of strikeouts on his fastball and cutter. Tommy Kahnle pitched into and out of trouble in the seventh, yielding a run and fanning two on his changeup. Zack Britton worked his sinker to full effect and got a nice spin-o-rama inning-ending double-play from Torres and Gregorius. Aroldis Chapman whiffed the side in the ninth inning with a 102 mph fastball being the exclamation point.

GAME 3

The Rays didn’t intend to use an opener but it didn’t stop the Bronx Bombers from opening up a can on Blake Snell. New York dropped a dirty dozen on Tampa, finishing off the sweep with a 12-1 victory.

BAT AROUND TOUCHDOWN

During the first frame, the Bronx Bombers made fast work of Snell. Snell only recorded one out on 39 pitches.

LeMahieu set the tone with a single and stole second. Voit coaxed a free pass.

Sanchez followed by serving an oppo taco to the porch for a 3-0 lead. The home run extended the Yankees’ home run streak to 22 consecutive contests.

Encarnacion kept the line moving with a walk. Hicks reached on a force out. Consecutive free passes to Torres and Maybin loaded the bases and marked the conclusion of Snell’s afternoon.

Colin Poche wouldn’t fare much better, plunking Urshela to force in a run.

With two down, LeMahieu lined a two-run single to center, increasing the Yankees advantage to 6-0.

CC 250

CC Sabathia took full advantage of the early lead and put it on cruise control. The veteran southpaw provided the pinstripes with length, going six strong, fanning seven, including striking out the side in the third, yielding one run on three hits. Sabathia became the 14th pitcher in major-league history to record 250 victories and 3,000 K’s.

Embed from Getty Images

DIRTY DOZEN

Adding another six in the seventh, the Yankees racked up the runs against the Rays bullpen.

Facing Adam Kolarek, LeMahieu and Voit coaxed a pair of one-out free passes. The ensuing batter Sanchez roped an RBI-double to left and sent Kolarek to the shower.

Facing Oliver Drake, Encarnacion looped an RBI-single to center. Hicks drew a free pass to pack the bases.

It was then t-shirt time in the Bronx, as Torres was “Gleyber Grand,” smacking his first career grand slam to right-center. The grand slam capped off the scoring at 12-1.

Later in the frame, Gardner made a gritty, gutty play by diving head-first into first base for a hit. It didn’t factor into anything but a heck of a hustle play at that juncture in the game.

ON DECK

At 46-27, the Yankees host the Houston Astros for a four-game series at Yankee Stadium starting Thursday evening.

Pitching probables, Framber Valdez vs. Chad Green, Brad Peacock vs. James Paxton, Wade Miley vs. Masahiro Tanaka, Justin Verlander vs. J.A. Happ.

Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed Instagram Feed