NEW YORK — It looked to be a pitching mismatch with the Rays sending out American League ERA leader Charlie Morton to the mound and the Yankees bullpenning in the night cap, but the Bombers rode a huge sixth inning to win the game 5-1.
The victory capped off a rare doubleheader sweep and gave New York the series victory over Tampa, who are now 8 games back for the AL East title.
The night began shakily for the Bombers and opener Chad Green as he loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning. Green, however, worked his magic and bounced back and allowed no Rays to cross the plate despite the circumstances.
His performance was what set the tone for the team the rest of the game.
With Yankees down a run in the fifth, Luke Voit greeted Morton with a long solo home run to deep in left center field. It was Voit’s 18th of the year, a much needed blast for the struggling slugger.
Hop to it. pic.twitter.com/nK78uuZnd3
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 19, 2019
The next inning, with the score till tied, Austin Romine opened the frame with a double to right field. After Brett Gardner moved him over to third, Morton issued rare walks to Aaron Judge and Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases for Didi Gregorius.
Though Gregorius did swat a two-run single in the at-bat, the go-ahead run scored earlier in the frame when Morton balked in a run, a mistake caused mainly by the catcher Mike Zunino.
Rays balk in the go-ahead run. #dummies pic.twitter.com/Iykt7oAx86
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) July 19, 2019
The Yankees’ last run scored on a bases loaded walk by Mike Tauchman later in the frame.
Considering that New York was playing the back half of a doubleheader without a true starter, it was a tremendous job from Aaron Boone and the pitchers he put out there.
After Green opened, Nestor Cortes Jr. followed with 3.1 innings of solid one-run baseball. Luis Cessa then performed with 3.1 scoreless frames before Adam Ottavino finished it out with 1.1 innings of shutout baseball.
The Yankees open a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies tomorrow, with J.A. Happ on the mound facing fellow left-hander Kyle Freeland.
Current Yankees Record: 62-33