Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recap: Yankees 4, Rays 2

Chase Whitley had a solid first start of the season, surrendering just one earned over a nice five innings to lead the Yankees past the Rays, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Whitley's W: Whitley held the Rays to just six hits in his five frames of work, impressively striking out six while walking one. He let the potential tying run reach third in the third and fourth, but escaped both jams unharmed thanks to some clutch punch-outs. 

McCann Still Can: A day after hitting his second home run of the year off Brandon Gomes, Brian McCann continued to swing a hot bat against Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi -- driving in three of the Yankees' four runs on a couple of hard-hit doubles. The latter of those knocks came with two on in the bottom of the fifth, when McCann easily plated a pair with a liner to the left-field gap. 

Esmil's Got This: Esmil Rogers pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings of relief for the Yankees to give the rest of the bullpen a much-needed break -- striking out five and allowing a hit. Rogers entered the contest with Logan Forsythe on third and one out in the sixth, quickly fanning Tim Beckham and inducing a Rene Rivera groundout to end the threat. 

Early Offense: Following a single to start off the Yankees' half of the first, Jacoby Ellsbury stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error -- setting up Brett Gardner favorably for a subsequent RBI groundout. It was the ninth time in their last twelve games the Yankees have scored first, likely contributing to the club's 10 victories during that stretch. 

Martin the Closer?: Due to their notable recent usage of Andrew Miller, the Yankees had Chris Martin close this one out instead -- a task Martin seemed to have no problem with. He retired three of the four Rays he faced to collect his first career save, clinching for New York a fourth straight series win.

Next Up: The Yankees will look to sweep this divisional set Wednesday when they meet the Rays for the finale in the Bronx -- beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET and airing live on the YES Network. Michael Pineda (3-0, 3.86 ERA) will get the ball for the Yankees now that Masahiro Tanaka's hurt, facing former Tigers lefty Drew Smyly (0-0, 3.86 ERA).

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)