New York Yankees Recap: Double digits as the Yankee pitching struggles in loss to the Rays

New York Yankees, Nick Nelson

Today the New York Yankees started their first away series of the season against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. It was the home Opening Day for the Rays. The Yankees had to sit by and watch the Rays celebrate their 2020 pennant win. After the Opening ceremonies, the Rays sent Rich Hill to the mound to face the Yankees. Hill bombed in his first start of the season, giving up 4 runs in 4 innings of work. The Yankees started 2 times Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. Fans watched how the two teams that don’t like each other played at the start of the season.

DJ LeMahieu led off for the New York Yankees; he struck out.  Slotted in the number two spot was Giancarlo Stanton because Aaron Judge still rested for left soreness. Stanton ground out. Aaron Hicks popped out for a 1-2-3 half for Hill. Corey Kluber took to the mound in the bottom facing Yoshi Tsutsugo, who struck out. Austin Meadows singled to left field. Randy Arozarena hit into a double play to end the inning. No score.

At the top of the second, Gleyber Torres led off, flying out to left. Jay Bruce lined out. Gary Sanchez struck out and caused the Yankees to go down in order again. At the bottom, Brandon Lowe struck out. Yandy Diaz reached on an errant throw from LeMahieu. Joey Wendle singled, and Diaz went to third. Willie Adames hit one off the centerfield wall, Diaz scored, and Wendle went to third base for the Rays early lead. Brett Phillips flew out, but Wendle scored for the 2 run lead. Mike Zunino popped out to the infield. Rays 2 Yankees 0.

Clint Frazier led off the third, striking out looking. Mike Tauchman struck out, and Tyler Wade singled. LeMahieu doubled for a tough break for the Yankees as it bounced into the stands, not allowing the speedy Wade to score. Stanton had a two-run single to tie up the game at 2 apiece. Hicks homered to deep left field, driving in two more Yankee runs, all of this action with 2 outs. Torres popped out, but the Yankees scored 4. At the bottom, Tsutsugo singled, while Frazier’s rocket arm prevented him from advancing. Meadows walked for two on and no outs. Arozarena singled, scoring Tsutsugo to score. Arozaren stole second. Lowe struck out. Diaz walked to load the bases, and that was the end of the day for Kluber. Nick Nelson replaced him.  Wendle hit one off the wall above Tauchman’s head, driving in two runs. Adames popped out. Phillips ground to Wade, but the Rays picked up 3 runs. Rays 5 New York Yankees 4.

Hill still on the mound, Bruce led off striking out. Sanchez ground out. Frazier struck out for the quick half for Hill. At the bottom of the fourth will Nelson on the mound, Zunino was hit by a pitch and advanced to first. Tsutsugo walked. Meadows singled with a man on first and second, loading the bases with Rays with no outs. Arozarena struck out. Lowe doubled, clearing the bases. Lowe singled scoring Arozarena as the Rays poured it on, scoring 9 runs off Yankee pitching with only one out in the fourth. Wendle struck out, but the ball got by Sanchez, and Lowe moved to second. Adames struck out for Nelson to finally get out of the inning. Rays 9 Yankees 4.

The Yankees lead off the fifth trying to recover from the Rays onslaught, with Hill still on the mound. Tauchman flew out. Wade ground out to the shortstop. LeMahieu ground out to second. At the bottom, Lucas Luetge took to the mound facing Phillips, who ground out. Zunino ground out to short. Tsutsugo doubled to far left field. Meadows flew out to Hicks for the first quick inning for both teams.

Hill, still on the mound in the sixth with 71 pitches, faced Stanton, who flew out to left-center. Hicks went down on strikes. Torres popped out to end the half. Arozarena, with Luetge still on the mound, struck out. Lowe struck out. Diaz doubled. Wendle flew to left-center, and Tauchman made a diving catch to end the inning. Jays 9 Yankees 4.

Hunter Stickland faced Jay Bruce at the top of the seven, striking him out. Sanchez walked. Frazier, with one on and one out, struck out for the third time in the game. Tauchman, who made that beautiful diving catch in the sixth, popped out to the third baseman. Luetge out for his third inning allowed a home run by Adames. Phillips flew out. Zunino struck out looking. Tsutsugo went down on strikes, but the Rays picked up another run, Rays 10 Yankees 4.

Tyler Wade led off the eighth, facing Strickland, striking out. LeMahieu hit a home run, his first of the season just over the left-field wall. Stanton ground out to short for the second out. Hicks, who hit a homer in third, flew out, but the Yankees scored a run in the half. After three innings for Luetge, Luis Cessa took over the Yankees’ pitching. Meadows doubled. Arozarena struck out. Lowe hit into a double play ending the inning.  Rays 10 New York Yankees 5.

With last licks on the line, Gleyber Torres singled. Jay Bruce hit into a double play for two outs. Gary Sanchez who stuck out three times lined drove to left field avoiding the Sombrero. Frazier grounded to short to end the game with the Yankees losing the first game of the three-game set.

The Tampa Bay Rays hitting that really struggled in the first six games of the season came alive in the first game against the Yankees. The Yankees had two home runs in the game but just couldn’t get the job done. The Rays had 13 hits in the game for10 runs. The final score was Tampa Bay 10 Yankees 5. The winning pitcher was Rich Hill and the loser was Corey Kluber.