After last night’s disappointing outing, the Yankees needed a game like tonight’s middle game against the Rays to set them back on track. And Masahiro Tanaka had a great outing, something he certainly needed, to earn his 8th win of this season. He threw 105 pitches in 9 scoreless innings, a complete game, giving up just 3 hits and a walk, and striking out 9 Rays batters in just 2 hours and 37 minutes of this game.
The Yankee batters gave Tanaka enough to work with off the Rays pitching tonight too. In the 1st, Gardner and Judge each singled and ended up in scoring position on a wild pitch strikeout. Gardner then scored on Didi Gregorius’ ground out. The in the 5th, with 1 out, Brandon Drury is hit by a pitch, moved to 3rd on Walker’s single, and unable to shake off the pain (more below), is pinch-run by Tyler Wade. Wade ended up scoring on his behalf on Austin Romine’s ground out.
The Yankees loaded up the bases in the 7th with Andujar’s single, Bird’s double, and an intentional walk to Walker. Romine then hit a sacrifice fly to score Andujar. Andujar came back again to hit a lead-off ground-rule double in the 9th and later scored on Neil Walker’s single to cap off the Yankees’ evening.
Final score: 4-0 Yankees
But in injury news: Brandon Drury‘s hit-by-pitch was a little concerning for the Yankees. But x-rays came back negative, so the Yankee are taking his bruised left hand on a day-to-day basis. And there was a lot of conversation about Gary Sanchez after the sluggish jog to 1st to end the game last night, but it turns out that his previous injury (groin strain) has returned. It’s enough to put him back on the DL again. The Yankees recalled Kyle Higashioka as back-up catcher, of course.
And in lighter news, as you know, the teams usually take batting practice prior to every game. So for the fans, watching the two big Yankee power hitters and former Home Run Derby Champions, Aaron Judge (2017) and Giancarlo Stanton (2016), is often a treat for anyone who comes early. Before today’s game, Judge and Stanton went back-and-forth hitting those monster home runs that made them champions to see which of them would hit the ball furthest. Consensus says it was Stanton.