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Seven-run third carries Yankees to win over Tampa

TAMPA — With just five games left in the season, the Yankees are still hoping to right the ship as they head into the AL Wild Card game. While this lineup was without three regulars, who are all battling injuries, Aaron Boone had a few things to be positive about in New York’s 9-2 win over the Rays.

Gary Sanchez, who has been struggling all season, looks to have finally turned a corner as he led his team with two hits and four RBI, with the first of which, a three-run homer that capped off a seven-run third inning for the Bombers.

Facing Jake Faria, Adeiny Hechavarria opened the scoring with a solo shot that just got over the wall in left field.

Then, with Brett Gardner and Andrew McCutchen on base, Aaron Judge smoked a ball that was miraculously caught by Faria for the first out of the frame.

The pitcher, however, was pulled due to match-ups and the Rays’ luck immediately ran out.

Luke Voit first hit an RBI-double to bring in Gardner, before RBIs from Neil Walker and Miguel Andujar precluded Sanchez’s big blast.

The Rays responded with a couple of runs in the bottom half of the third, but that was all they would get.

After the game, Luis Severino, who gave up two runs on four hits in five strong frames, attributed his struggles in the third to a long lull between the second and third innings.

Andujar added a solo shot, his 26th home run of the season, in the ninth inning.

In Severino and Sanchez, the Yankees are hoping that the duo are going in the right direction as they head into the playoffs. Both of them will be key if New York hopes to make any damage this October.

Notably, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres, and Didi Gregorius were all not in tonight’s lineup. Hicks and Torres should be back soon, but the status of Gregorius remains unclear as the season winds down.

CC Sabathia faces Tampa’s opener Ryne Stanek in tomorrow’s ball game.

Current Yankees Record: 97-60