Wednesday, June 29, 2016

McCann Homers Twice, Gregorius Walks Off Rangers, 8-7

     After dropping the first two games of the four-game set, Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees took on Nick Martinez and the Texas Rangers in game three tonight. Tanaka is in either the top five or the top ten in every major statistical pitching category in the American League. On the other side of the field, Nick Martinez has struggled for Texas in 2016, with a 5.54 ERA and a .308 batting average against. Although the two starters did somewhat of a "role reversal", a big night for the Yankee backstop led to New York stealing game three. 
     Prince Fielder got the Rangers off to an early one run lead, coming in the top of the second. Cecil's son led off the inning by smoking a double off of Tanaka, advancing to third base on a ground out by the next batter Rougned Odor. Elvis Andrus then smacked a single into left that scored Fielder from third. But, Chase Headley would tie the game in the bottom of the frame when he drilled a long solo homerun to right center, driving in the 500th run of his career. 
     Tanaka got himself into sone serious trouble in the top of the third as he gave the lead back to the Rangers. He began the frame by allowing back to back singles to Robinson Chirinos and Shin-Soo Choo and then walked Ian Desmond to load the bases. The youngest position player in Major League Baseball Nomar Mazara then ripped a double into the right-center field gap that plated all three runners, making it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Prince Fielder drove in the fifth Ranger run when he followed with a single that ricocheted off the glove of Rob Refsnyder that scored Mazara. 
     Rougned Odor scored the Rangers sixth run of the game with a solo shot in the top of the sixth as they knocked Tanaka out of the ball game. He would go on to finish the sixth but would be lifted for Luis Sessa in the top of the seventh. Tanaka struggled with control all night long and departed with a final line of six innings pitched, allowing six runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out seven. 
     Martinez, too, would be pulled in the sixth as he allowed two baserunners to reach to lead off the inning. Brian McCann walked, Starlin Castro singled and Martinez was lifted for left-handed reliever Cesar Ramos. After Gregorius grounded out, Chase Headley hit a sacrifice fly to right that scored McCann, making it a 6-2 contest. Martinez finished the night going five innings, allowing two runs on three hits while walking five and striking out two. Adrian Beltre would get that run back when he extended his hit-streak to 11 games as he belted an opposite-field solo homerun in the top of the eighth. 
      Brian McCann and Didi Gregorius put on their "Superman" capes as they made their unlikely come back in the best Yankee win of the season. McCann retaliated Beltre's shot in the bottom of the frame as he hit an almost identically located solo shot that inched the Yankees back to within four. In the bottom of the ninth, Refsnyder smacked a leadoff single and advanced to second base when the next batter Jacoby Ellsbury walked. After a Texas pitching change, Rangers closer Sam Dyson served up a single to Brett Gardner that was mishandled by centerfielder Ian Desmond, allowing Refsnyder to score, 7-4. After Alex Rodriguez lined out, Brian McCann came up enormous yet again, unloading on a Dyson fastball that soared into the right field stands, tying the game at seven. Starlin Castro walked and then Didi Gregorius sent Yankee fans home happy as he blasted a two run shot into the Bronx night that sent the stadium into a frenzy and put an end to the Yankees losing streak. 
     The Yankees will try to earn a split with Texas tomorrow in the fourth and final game of the series, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM ET. 

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