Against the rival Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees rose to the occasion and stole the first game of a three-game series this week.
The heated history between the Yankees and Rays has bubbled over significantly in recent years, and that intensity didnâ€™t dissipate from the win on Tuesday. Thankfully, New York managed to walk away with a slim win by a score of 3-1, thanks to outstanding pitching once again.
Jordan Montgomery lasted 6.0 innings, allowing two hits and just one run, striking out nine batters. He had a phenomenal performance and set up the bullpen nicely, with Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman giving up one hit combined over three innings.
It was a difficult contest, as the Yankee offense was led by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, who both hit solo homeruns.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
The positive news, starting first baseman Luke Voit made his anticipated return to the team, enjoying three at-bats and striking out once. He did earn some solid contact on the ball and a few good swings, so the Yankees likely feel good about his return. Gaining one of their top hitters back must feel good, as he slid right into the fifth spot in the batting order, handling his duties adequately.
However, the Yankees only managed to record three runs, striking out six times, including three from Gleyber Torres. They made good contact and didn’t rack up the Ks as we’ve seen in the recent past — they just simply couldnâ€™t get the ball in play consistently. The top four in the batting order recorded five total hits zero strikeouts.
The one injury to keep an eye on is centerfielder Aaron Hicks, who was dropped from the lineup due to a foul ball hitting him in the shin on Sunday, producing a bruise. Due to that soreness, the Yankees gave Hicks the night off, inserting Clint Frazier at CF to help supplement his loss. Hicks is having a tough start to the season offensively but is mostly a reliable defensive player.
â€œNo long-term concern,â€ Boone said of Hicks. â€œThe ball he fouled off his shin the other day when he went to start his pregame stuff, just pretty sore. Decided to hold him out (Tuesday). Hoping that heâ€™s in there (Wednesday) but itâ€™ll be kind of a day to day thing. He got an X-ray just to be safe. I think itâ€™s just about getting a little bit of swelling out of there. Heâ€™s pretty sore (Tuesday).â€