Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hicks' Two Homers & Stellar Severino Lead Yanks to Sweep of Rays, 3-2

In the first night Game at Yankee Stadium in 2017, the New York Yankees completed the three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. Fans were definitely treated to a pitcher's duel tonight as both starters, Luis Severino for New York and Matt Andriese for Tampa Bay, battled back-and-forth with excellent command of the strike zone all night long. But as Jim Carey said in Ace Ventura, "Unfortunately, in every contest there must be a loser." And tonight, that loser was the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees struck quickly against the young right-hander, jumping out to an early lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Aaron Hicks crushed an Andriese fastball deep over the right-center field wall for a solo shot that put New York up by one.

Tampa, however, was just as quick to respond as they tied the game in the top of the second. Logan Morrison started the rally with a one-out walk, advancing to second on a Mallex Smith two-out single. The number nine hitter Jesus Sucre then smacked a line drive single to center that scored Morrison from second to tie the game at one apiece.

In his last start, Severino gave up a fifth inning homerun to Manny Machado to let the Orioles back in a game that they eventually came back and won. Tonight, the 23-year old suffered the same fate as he allowed a deep fifth inning solo shot to Peter Borges that gave Tampa a one run lead.

Despite the fact that neither guy was getting much run support to speak of, both starters were outstanding as they both pitched into the late innings. Luis Severino was phenomenal even despite the longball, striking out a career-high 11 batters in his seven innings of work. Similarly, Matt Andriese was just as good, striking out five Yankees and starting all but three batters with strike one in his six frames.

The Rays turned the game over to left-hander Xavior Cedeno in the bottom of the seventh, and he in turn gave the Yankees the lead back. Erasmo Ramirez started the frame and was lifted for Cedeno after he gave up a one out single to Ronald Torreyes. After getting Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out; the lefty coughed up the second homerun of the night to Aaron Hicks, this one from the right side of the batters box to give the Yankees a one run advantage.

A combination of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman came in the eighth and ninth innings respectively to seal the deal on the Yankees first sweep of 2017.

Tomorrow night, Yankee Stadium will play host to a total of 38 world championships as they welcome in the National League's St. Louis Cardinals for a three day weekend interleague series, with first pitch schedule for 7:05 PM/EST.

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