The Yankees sent their ace to the mound this afternoon. On opening day the Rays weren’t kind hosts to the Masahiro Tanaka. He gave up seven runs in 2.2 innnings. This time he lasted three and only gave up six runs, five earned.
Corey Dickerson got the Rays offense started with a an opposite field homer that barely made it to the left-center field seats.
In the top of the second Aaron Judge tied the game with an opposite field home run.
The Rays once again threatened in the second and took the 2-1 lead on a RBI double that Jesus Sucre lined in the left-center field gap. Jacoby Ellsbury cut the ball off before it hit the wall to only allow one runner to score. The Yankees decided to intentionally walk Dickerson to load the bases with two outs for Kevin Kiermaier. However, Sucre was caught taking a large secondary lead off second to end the threat with the Rays up 2-1.
The Rays added on another run in the third with a solo homer by Evan Longoria. The Rays got two more runners on base, but the Rays were unable to add on.
In the fourth inning things started to unravel for Matt Andriese. After a Starlin Castro single Aaron Judge lined a double into left field. Chase Headley drilled a double to the wall to tie the game 3-3.
The Rays didn’t waste any time getting the lead back. Daniel Robertson lined a double in the right-center field gap. Sucre struck out, but reached first on the wild pitch with Robertson advancing to third. Dickerson drove a shin high splitter to the scoreboard on the wall in right field to put the Rays up 6-3. Kiermaier and Longoria followed with singles before Tanaka was removed from the game without recording an out in the fourth inning. Tommy Layne entered and walked Logan Morrison to load the bases with no outs. The Rays went with a different take on how to score zero runs in that scenario. Steven Souza, Jr. started the feat with a scorched line drive hit directly at the short stop. Colby Rasmus followed with soft liner at the second baseman. Tim Beckham capped off the feat with a grounder to short stop.
Andriese once again found himself in trouble in the fifth inning. Gary Sanchez smashed a homer to center field to close the lead to 6-4. Matt Holliday was hit by a 3-2 pitch. Castro smashed a liner at Evan Longoria to end the threat.
Robertson started the bottom of the fifth off with a single. After Sucre flew out Dickerson took a fastball around the neck which the Rays likely felt was retaliation for the Holliday HBP in the top of the inning. Kiermaier put the Rays up 7-4 on a sharply hit groundball past a diving Didi Gregorius. Giovanny Gallegos came in to face Longoria. Longoria earned a walk to load the bases with Morrison. The plate appearance seemed to last forever and the Rays were the benefactors of a 2-2 pitch that was as borderline as they come. LoMo hit a weak grounder to second that bounced off Castro’s glove. Kiermaier came around to score from second as Castro chased the ball into center field to put the Rays up 9-4.
Former Rays manager and current Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild visited the mound. During his visit he was ejected after complaining to the home plate umpire about the strike zone.
All baseball games need an intermission, so Joe Girardi obliged. He was not happy with the ejection with Rothschild so he put on a show. He argued with the home plate umpire for a while before earning an ejection. Before leaving he would cover home plate with dirt.
Matt Andriese was sent back out for the top of the sixth. The first pitch was sent directly into the ribs of Aaron Judge. Andriese was ejected as the pitch was clearly intentional.
Chase Whitley came in and delivered three innings of very good relief. He allowed a double to Ellsbury and picked up three strikeouts.
Jumbo Diaz came in to finish off the game. He picked up two quick strikeouts before walking Aaron Hicks. Brett Gardner grounded out to end the game.
The Rays secured their third straight series victory and will go to the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PM.