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Offense leads the way in win over Rays

The Yankees inch closer to home field advantage.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

It’s always nice to get a reminder of how good the Yankees’ offense can be.

In the third inning, the Yankees batted around, scoring seven runs in the process. Other than a brief period in the bottom half of that inning, they really never looked back after that. The offense combined for three home runs, 10 total hits, and nine runs in a 9-2 win over the Rays.

Despite all the notable names in the Yankees’ lineup, they kicked things with a home run from possibly the most unexpected source. Adeiny Hechavarria got the Yankees on the board when he led off the third inning with a home run. After that, some of the more usual suspects added to the Yankees’ lead.

Brett Gardner followed the home run with a triple, which was in turn followed by a Andrew McCutchen walk. Aaron Judge was unlucky to not reach, as he smoked a ball only for it to be caught by pitcher Jake Faria. However, Luke Voit picked up the slack with a double, scoring Gardner. After that, there was an intentional walk to Giancarlo Stanton, an unintentional bases loaded walk to Neil Walker, and a Miguel Andujar sacrifice fly. The inning was then capped off by a three-run Gary Sanchez home run. The lineup had turned back over to Hechavarria, who finished the inning he started with a ground out.

Despite how well the top of that inning went, the bottom proved that things weren’t quite settled yet. Luis Severino loaded the bases to start the bottom of the third with a double, a hit by pitch, and a walk. Brandon Lowe then hit one into the gap. Two runs scored easily, but Ji-Man Choi was thrown out at home trying to score as well. Lowe ended up at third, and was credited with a triple, but Severino managed to hold the Rays to just the two runs.

The Yankees got one of those runs back a couple innings later. Stanton had led off the top of the fifth with a double, and came around to score a couple batters later on a Sanchez single.

Severino’s pitch count was already nearing 100 after five innings, but Aaron Boone tried to bring him back out for the sixth. Lowe led off the inning with a double that was aided by McCutchen tripping while trying to track the ball. That would be it for Severino. He ended his day with two runs allowed on four hits and three walks, striking out seven. Other than the third inning, he was closer to good Sevy than bad Sevy. Tommy Kahnle came in for him and finished off the sixth.

Andujar got the Yankees one more run in the top of the ninth with a home run. Meanwhile, Kahnle, Stephen Tarpley, and Domingo German combined to finish off the final few innings, allowing just one hit between them.

The Yankees also did all of that without Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, and Gleyber Torres in the lineup.

Box score.