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Yankees 5, Rays 1: Todd Frazier and the bullpen seal victory at Citi Field

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The Yankees’ magic number is now down to 15.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

It was another win tonight for the Bronx Bombers. It was definitely a little odd watching the Yankees and Rays play in Citi Field, but it didn’t affect the on-field product. The Yankees are now 7-3 over their last 10 and have two more games against the Rays this series.

CC Sabathia came out strong in the first inning but labored a little bit during the second and third innings. After a 1-2-3 inning in the first, he let in one run on an Adeiny Hechavarria triple in the second and found himself in a two-on, nobody out jam in the third. Thankfully though he worked out of trouble. Sabathia also allowed two more hits in the fourth but didn’t allow a run to score.

The Yankees’ offense for the first three innings was pretty quiet as well but broke out in a big way in the fourth inning. Aaron Judge led the inning off with a walk, which Gary Sanchez followed with a single off the end of the bat into left-center. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Didi Gregorius plated Judge and put the Bombers on the board.

A few batters later, Matt Holliday came to the plate with Sanchez on first and two away. Holliday worked himself into a full count, which allowed Sanchez to run with the pitch. The Yankees designated hitter bounced an easy grounder that got under the glove of Trevor Plouffe. Since Sanchez was going on the pitch, the error allowed him to score and gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

The next hitter, Jacoby Ellsbury, set a new MLB record with his 30th career catcher’s interference. Todd Frazier stepped to the plate with two on and two away, coming through with a long home run into the left field seats. That gave the Yankees a 5-1 lead. Tyler Austin also doubled in the inning, but the scoring ended with the Frazier homer. The Yankees ended Jake Odorizzi’s night in the fourth. He threw well over 50 pitches in the inning as the Yankees batted around before he recorded all three outs.

After securing the lead in the top of the inning, Sabathia came out strong in the bottom half. He struck out Lucas Duda and Cesar Puello swinging to begin the frame. He did let two weak singles fall into shallow left, but Sabathia bounced back to strike out Danny Espinosa swinging to end the inning.

Sabathia’s night ended after just 4.1 innings. He began the fifth inning with a walk to Bourjos, but got the next hitter, Kiermaier, to strike out looking. Trevor Plouffe’s single into center during the next at-bat, however, knocked CC out for good. His final line was 4.1 innings, six hits, one run, two walks, and six strikeouts.

David Robertson came in to relieve Sabathia and turned in a slightly unconventional, but nonetheless great, relief performance. Robertson struck out Longoria and Duda to end the fifth, working out of a two-on and one-out situation. He then came back out for the sixth inning, and worked a scoreless inning.

Surprisingly, Robertson came back out for another inning in the seventh, but it clearly didn’t have any negative effects. He worked his only 1-2-3 inning of the night and struck out two batters along the way.

Dellin Betances came out to work the eighth inning. He allowed a bloop single and a walk, but he kept runs off the board. Betances also racked up his 500th career strikeout against Logan Morrison, who I still haven’t forgiven for complaining Gary Sanchez was less-deserving a of a Home Run Derby spot than he was. To top things off, Aroldis Chapman closed things out in the ninth. It took him just two pitches to get Danny Espinosa to fly out to center, and he got Corey Dickerson to ground out to third.

Overall, this was a solid, yet rather unexciting win for the Yankees. Every game from here on out is of the utmost importance, so every victory is worth celebration. That said, the Yankees’ offense only mustered four hits. All but one came in the fourth inning. Regardless, this was a good team performance and further money in the bank.