Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Yanks Launch Three Longballs, Lead to 6-4 Victory In Sox Series Opener

On A cloudy night in the Bronx, the Yankees bashed their way into a game one win against the rival Red Sox. Getting the start for New York was rookie right-hander Luis Sessa, who pitched very well but was saddled with a no decision as his bullpen let him down once again. Getting the call and the loss for Boston was ace David Price, falling to 17-9 while raising his ERA to 4.04 in an outing that saw him get hit early and often against a team that he has historically not had much success.

It didn't take long for the Yankees to jump on the ace Price, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. After a Brett Gardner led off the night with a strikeout. Jacoby Ellsbury laced a single into centerfield. The next batter Gary Sanchez crushed a first-pitch fastball from Price deep into the Red Sox bullpen in left-center for his 20th homer in just 51 games, tying an MLB record for quickest to 20 and giving New York a 2-0 lead. With the longball, Sanchez also became the 104th player this season to collect 20 or more homeruns, a new MLB record that bested the 103 mark set in 1999.

They put up their third run of the game on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Austin Romine and Tyler Austin started the frame with back-to-back singles, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a one-out single into right field that scored Romine to extend the Yankees lead to three.

The Red Sox responded with two runs in the top of the sixth, but it could've been a lot worse had it not been for Sessa's impressive escapability. Andrew Benintendi started the rally with an infield single that bounced in front of Sessa, advancing to second base on a throwing error by the rookie pitcher. The next batter Dustin Pedroia smacked a single to centerfield that scored Benintendi to put the Red Sox on the board at 3-1. After Xander Bogarts followed up with a line drive double to right, Sessa got the lifetime .307 hitter against the Yankees David Ortiz to strike out for out number one. Mookie Betts then followed up with a ground out to short, scoring Pedroia and pulling Boston to within one. But, Sessa got out of it by striking out last week's Yankee killer Hanley Ramirez to end the threat and the frame.

Didi Gregorius became the 105th player to hit 20 or more homeruns this season when he blasted HIS 20th shot of the year, a solo blast to right in the bottom of the sixth to push the Yankees back out by two.

Even though Sessa left the game for Tommy Layne in the seventh, all of his prior work was for not as the Sox came back to tie it against their old teammate Layne. Aaron Hill came on to pinch-hit for Brock Holt to lead off the inning and proceeded to launch a solo homerun to left field that made it a 4-3 ballgame. Jackie Bradley Jr. kept the offensive pressure on by driving a single to right, advancing to second on a bunt by Sandy Leon. Dustin Pedroia struck again, this time with a two-out single that beat the shift down the right field line to score Bradley Jr. and tie the game at four apiece. Blake Parker then came on in relief and proceeded to get Ortiz to ground out to short to prevent any further damage.

But the game didn't stay tied for long as the Yankees came back to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning, knocking Price out in the process. Romine led off the seventh with a single to right; scoring when the next batter Tyler Austin blasted his fourth longball of the season, an opposite-field two-run shot to right that put the Bombers back on top by a 6-4 score. After a Gardner single and an Ellsbury line out, Price was pulled for right-handed side-winding Brad Ziegler. The deadline acquisition from the Diamondbacks proceeded to get Gary Sanchez to ground out into an inning ending double-play.

With all the well-documented recent struggles of Delin Betances, the Yanks decided to send Tyler Clippard to close out the game in the ninth. After getting Leon to strike out to begin the frame, Benintendi laced a double down the right field line. Pedroia followed up with a walk, representing the tying run at first base with one out. But, Clippard tight-roped out of it by getting Bogarts to pop out to short and then got Ortiz to strike out to end the ballgame. The win guarantees that the Yankees will finish the season at at least .500 and prevented the Red Sox from celebrating a division championship in Yankee Stadium.

The Pinstripers will try to keep it rolling tomorrow night as they square off against Boston in game two of the three game set, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.


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