The New York Yankees did everything in their power to blow the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. Luckily, Tampa Bay wanted the win even less, with both teams committing two errors and tallying six hits apiece.
However, if not for the starting pitching performance of Frankie Montas and Aaron Judge providing phenomenal production in the batter’s box, the Bombers would’ve easily been put away without much resistance.
After starting his Yankee tenure in inadequate shape, Montas bounced back against Tampa Bay after giving up four earned runs and eight hits, including three homers against the Los Angeles Angels on August 29.
In the win on Sunday, he tallied seven strikeouts, giving up one hit over 5.0 innings. A few errors put him in a tough spot, but he worked his way out of it seamlessly.
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The Yankees’ entire offense is Aaron Judge:
Offensively, Judge contributed half of the Yankees’ total hits. He launched a solo homer to lead off the game, traveling 450 feet. This was Judge’s 53rd home run of the season, once again marking one of the best performances of a Yankee in decades.
In the top of the seventh inning, Judge blooped a double to right field, providing Oswaldo Cabrera with an opportunity to drive in a run. Luckily, Cabrera was able to shoot a fly ball out to left field, driving in Judge and giving the Yankees a two-run cushion.
Closer Clay Holmes nearly blew the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, but a 102 mph sinker struck out Yandy Diaz to end the game. The pitch was a bit low, but the umpire gave Holmes a break, finally halting a three-game losing streak by the Yankees.
To wrap up the series, the Yankees will now travel back to the Bronx to host the Minnesota Twins over four games. Minnesota had also lost their last three games before defeating the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
However, they present the Yankees an opportunity to get right offensively, especially with some of their injured players beginning to ramp up for a potential return in the coming weeks.