After yesterday's extra-inning failure from the offense, the Yankees' lineup rebounded in a big way today. They got off to a slow start, but poured it on late. The Yankees scored nine runs on twelve hits to beat the Rays 9-3. Oh, and that Masahiro Tanaka guy was pretty decent again.
The Rays got on the board early when Desmond Jennings hit a one-out home run in the top of the first. In the second inning, the Rays added another run off Tanaka. James Loney led off the inning with a single. After Wil Myers "grounded out" (bouncing ball hit him while he was in fair territory), David DeJesus singled on a grounder that deflected off Tanaka. The Yankees nearly got out of it as Tanaka got Sean Rodriguez to pop out and got two strikes on Ryan Hanigan. However, Hanigan got a single on a hard grounder that Kelly Johnson got a glove on, but could not make the play. That gave the Rays a 2-0 lead. Tanaka got Ben Zobrist to ground out to escape further damage.
The Yankees' offense couldn't go much of anything, and the Rays were able to add another run in the top of the fourth. Myers led off the inning with a home run to make the score 3-0.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a single. Brett Gardner came up next and he grounded into a force out at second, but avoided the double play. Mark Teixeira came up next and he launched a home run into the second deck to make the score 3-2.
An inning later, the Yankees tied the game. Ichiro Suzuki led off the inning with a double. After Yangervis Solarte drew a walk, Ellsbury laced a ground-rule double that scored Ichiro and tied the game at three. After Gardner struck out, the Rays intentionally walked Teixeira to load the bases. However, neither Brian McCann or Alfonso Soriano could make the Rays pay and after five innings, the game was tied at three.
After failing to in the fifth, the Yankees did take a lead in the sixth. With Josh Lueke pitching, Johnson led off the inning with a home run into the Yankee bullpen. That made the score 4-3 and gave the Yankees their first lead of the game.
After the Yankees took the lead, Tanaka came back out to pitch the seventh. Despite being near 100 pitches at the start of the inning, Tanaka retired the side relatively easily. The seventh would be the last inning that Tanak pitched. He finished his day with seven innings pitched, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out five.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees were able to add to their lead. Ellsbury and Gardner led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Teixeira then came up and he too hit a single. That scored Ellsbury and made it 5-3. After McCann lined out, Soriano came up. Soriano flew out, but it was deep enough to score Gardner and make it 6-3.
Dellin Betances came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth for the Yankees. Betances allowed just one hit, a double to Loney, and kept the Yankee lead at three runs.
The Yankee lead did not stay at three runs for very long but it was a good change. Brian Roberts led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Ichiro then ripped a double down the right field line. That scored Roberts and made the score 7-3. After Solarte grounded out (moving Ichiro to third), Ellsbury walked and stole second. Gardner then singled to score both runners.
Preston Claiborne was brought in to finish off the game in the ninth. Claiborne threw an easy 1-2-3 inning to give the Yankees the 9-3 win.
The rubber match between the Yankees and Rays will be tomorrow at 1:05 eastern. C.C Sabathia will get the start for the Yankees, while Tampa Bay will send out Erik Bedard.