NEW YORK — For the first time since opening day, the Yankees are back atop the American League East. With their 27th win, the team is now a season-high 11 games above .500.
Entering the bottom of the ninth down 3-1, a three-run rally capped by Gio Urshela‘s first career walk-off hit sent a delirious Bronx crowd home happy. For the fans that stayed after an eighth inning rain delay, it was the ending they all deserved.
Facing the dominant Jose Alvarado, who has allowed just eight his all year, the Bombers were able to muster up four against the left-hander.
Luke Voit set the tone with a first pitch home run that immediately cut the lead in half. Gary Sanchez then hit a single, before being pinch-run for by Thairo Estrada.
Though Kendrys Morales struckout for the first out, an excellent 10-pitch at-bat by Gleyber Torres ended in a double off the wall in left field, that put runners on second and third with just one out.
The tying run scored on a wild pitch, before Urshela was given a chance with the bases loaded.
The third baseman then delivered by lacing a single over the head of Kevin Kiermaier to allow the winning run to come home easily.
"I will be your champion." –@Urshela10 pic.twitter.com/hbw1opBVDo
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 18, 2019
CC Sabathia gave Aaron Boone another strong start, giving up just one run in six strong innings. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they could not get much done as well against a variety of Tampa Bay pitchers, with the only early damage coming on Morales’s first home run as a Bronx Bomber.
With the rain pouring in the eighth, Chad Green was tasked to bring a tie game to the ninth but instead gave up a go-ahead double to Brandon Lowe. An error from Torres then allowed another Rays run to score to extend their lead to 3-1.
Rain then caused a delay before the Yankees were able to come back in the bottom of the ninth.
Masahiro Tanaka duels with Blake Snell in the second game of this three-game set tomorrow, at 1:05 ET.
Current Yankees Record: 27-16