Sunday, April 19, 2015

Recap: Yankees 9, Rays 0

Masahiro Tanaka recorded his first quality start of the year, yielding just two hits in seven shutout innings as the Yankees trounced the Rays, 9-0, on Saturday night at Tropicana Field. 

Tanaka Terrific: Tanaka retired 15 consecutive after surrendering a single in the bottom of the first, ultimately finishing with eight strikeouts on the evening. He worked around a Brandon Guyer double to put up a zero in the sixth, throwing just 85 pitches in the outing for his second straight win.

A Slow Offensive Start: The Yankees' bats, however, didn't hold up their end of the bargain for much of the contest -- mustering just three hits over the first five innings against Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi. The Yanks' only real threat early on came in the top of the first, when Mark Teixeira stranded a man at second with a routine grounder to third. 

McCann Breaks the Tie: Thanks to the dominance of Tanaka, though, the Yankees were able to still keep the game even going into the sixth -- a turn in which Odorizzi suddenly walked a pair to bring up Brian McCann. McCann, already 2-for-2 at the time, capitalized on the rare opportunity with a sharp two-run triple to right -- plating both runners easily as the ball rolled away from Steven Souza. 

Building the Advantage: The Yankees then scored seven more in the seventh to establish a comfortable cushion -- sending 12 hitters to the dish while logging five hits. A deep grand slam by Chris Young highlighted the onslaught, preceded by a Brett Gardner RBI single and a couple of sac flies from Teixeira and Gregorio Petit to make the once-close matchup a blowout.

Closing it Out: Needless to say, the Yankees didn't have much to worry about from that point on -- bringing in righties David Carpenter and Brandon Pinder to get the last six outs. Carpenter and Pinder entered following an unexpected removal of Tanaka, whose performance ended sooner than presumed due to New York's sizable lead.

Next Up: Michael Pineda will look to complete a sweep for the Yankees Sunday when they and the Rays battle it out in the series finale -- beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET and airing live on Pix11. Pineda will be hoping to rebound from a rough visit to Baltimore on Monday when he faces off with the recently weak-hitting Rays -- a team who has crossed home in just one inning so far this weekend. 

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