Yankees’ pitchers hold on to blank the Rays in 2-0 win

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees would kick off a three-game set at Tropicana Field as they would take on the Tampa Bay Rays for their first matchup in Florida this season. The two teams faced off in the Bronx a couple of short weeks ago where the Yankees picked up a series win by taking two of three, and we’d see a new arm on the mound for Tampa Bay. Taj Bradley, who was making his season debut tonight, would take the ball against Clarke Schmidt, as the two young right-handers would hope to deliver a win in the series opener.

Thanks to some great pitching and two RBIs from Anthony Rizzo, the Yankees would walk away with a 2-0 win, starting the series on a great note in what became a great pitching duel.

Clarke Schmidt Dominates and Anthony Rizzo Shines in Yankees Victory

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Something that Clarke Schmidt has struggled with all season is getting deep into games, and yet today we’d see that trend flip on its head. Pitching not just through the sixth inning, but also into the seventh as well, the Yankees would get a brilliant outing from the young right-hander as he was able to blank the Rays’ lineup by executing some big-time pitches and remaining effective throughout the night.

This tied the longest start of his career (which ironically came against the Rays at Tropicana Field), and the right-hander has lowered his ERA on the season to 2.95. He collected six strikeouts with just two walks and five hits allowed, blanking the Rays and being the enforcer on the mound this team desperately needed in what was a tight contest in each inning, as the tying run or go-ahead was at the plate for the Rays from start to finish.

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

As for the Yankees offense tonight? Well, Anthony Rizzo punched a single into left field off of Taj Bradley for an RBI single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. He followed that up in the top of the ninth with a solo shot that gave Clay Holmes some wiggle room, but before we get to his save, we have to talk about Luke Weaver. He came in relief of Nick Burdi (who got his sole out on a Jose Trevino dart to second base to nail a baserunner), and he fired a perfect frame with two strikeouts.

His ERA on the season sits at 2.59, and he’s become a weapon for the Bronx Bombers in the early parts of the season despite being seen as more of a depth arm. Clay Holmes didn’t make it easy in the ninth, surrendering a single and two walks in between three strikeouts, barely holding onto the shutout and securing the final three outs in the Yankees’ 26th win of the season.

They’ll throw Nestor Cortes out against Zack Littell for a 4:05 PM start for the second game of this weekend series.

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