Loss To Yanks Won't Hinder Rays' Chances • Latino Sports


Loss To Yanks Won’t Hinder Rays’ Chances


Bronx, NY – Alex Colome allowed a game-tying single to Gary Sanchez in the ninth inning. The Yankees at that point Thursday night in the Bronx were down to their final out in a game that Tampa Bay thought they had. But that pitch led to typical Yankees drama in a 6-5 walk-off win in 11-innings.

The Yankees veteran, Brett Gardner who scored the tying run got hold of a Andrew Kittredge slider and the ball landed in the right field stands off a 1-1 pitch, a walk-off win and a big one in late July.

This is a four-game series at Yankee Stadium and the Rays are aware how important this is. So do the Yankees as both teams are in a tight race for the AL wild card and also in a division title hunt with the Boston Red Sox. But the Yankees got the first of three and it was done with a bullpen that provided solid relief and of course that important role from Gardner.

“I made a good pitch,” Colome said about the ball hit by Gardner. “We’re good. We have a chance to win three games, maybe two. We have a chance to win.”

However that pitch from Colome, was not what the Rays needed in what has become an important series for a team that has not seen the postseason since 2013 when they lost to Boston in the ALDS as a wildcard team.

The Yankees are 15-0 this season when Gardner hits the home run ball. This was his 18th, a new season-career high that gave the Yankees their fourth straight win.

He was looking for that first pitch and went with it as the Yankees got a momentum building win. Also, the 2.0 innings of solid pitching out of the bullpen from Aroldis Chapman were instrumental in getting Gardner the opportunity.

Chapman threw 19 pitches, 16 for strikes and struck out four in tossing scoreless ball in the 10th and 11th innings.

“A big win,” said Gardner. “It is super tough to win a four-game series. His manager, Joe Girardi, ejected with one out in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes, will agree that Gardner has always had the ability to get the big hit.

Said Girardi, “He’s energetic, stirs the pot, keeps the guys loose. So many different things. He’s a fighter.” And this series will be a fight because Tampa Bay with some veterans and a lot of youngsters have unexpectedly got themselves into a pennant race.

There are three more games and the Rays are aware that this was one loss with three more ballgames in the Bronx.

“Tomorrow is a new day, we know that,” said Ray’s starter Chris Archer who did not record a decision and has just one win in his last 10 starts against the Yankees. Archer tossed 6.0 innings, 7 -hits and struck out 10. Gary Sanchez hit a home run to right off Archer in the third inning that put the Yankees ahead 3-0.

And it is the home run ball that is hurting Archer, his 9th long ball given up in his last 10 starts. However, the Rays were optimistic with this being that four-game series. And they will get more power in the lineup Friday night with the addition of Lucas Duda, acquired from the NY Mets earlier in the evening.

Tampa Bay is third in the league with the home run ball with 148. They got two more from Evan Longoria off Yankees starter CC Sabathia and a solo in the sixth from Corey Dickerson.

“We know he, (Duda) brings power to the lineup,” said Archer. Yes, three more in the Bronx is what has shaped up to be an important series before the calendar turns to the dog days of August.

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

Recommended for you