Urshela’s walk-off caps ninth inning rally for Yankees
The Yankees defeated the Rays in the first of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. C.C. Sabathia got the start for the Yankees, allowing one run on six hits while walking two and striking out four over six innings. Kendrys Morales opened the scoring in the second inning with an absolute bomb into the suite level for a solo home run, making it 1-0 Yankees. Willy Adames would tie the game up in the fourth with a solo homer of his own off of C.C.
In the top of the eighth, Brandon Lowe extended Tampa’s lead with an RBI double to score Daniel Robertson, which was then followed by a Kevin Kiermaier infield single, and a throwing error by Gleyber Torres on the play allowed Lowe to score, making it a 3-1 Rays lead. In the ninth, Luke Voit connected on the first pitch thrown by Rays’ reliever Jose Alvarado, his eleventh home run of the year, this one a solo shot to make it 3-2 Rays. Gary Sanchez singled and was pinch run for with Thairo Estrada, and after a strikeout by Morales, a one-out double off the wall by Torres made it second and third with one out for Clint Frazier.
The Rays elected to put Frazier on and pitch to Cameron Maybin, the pinch hitter for Brett Gardner, with the bases loaded. After a wild first pitch that allowed Estrada to score, Maybin, grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Torres being tagged out at the plate. The next batter, Gio Urshela, worked himself ahead in the count to 2-0 before lining a base hit over Kiermaier’s head that allowed Frazier to score the winning run, securing the walk-off victory for the Yankees as Urshela’s magical run with this team continues.
The Yankees are now in first place in the American League East, taking sole possession of the division lead by half a game with the win over the Rays. They’ll look to widen the gap to 1.5 games on Saturday afternoon as they send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound for the second game of this weekend series. In nine starts, Tanaka has a 3-3 record and a 3.44 ERA. He’ll oppose Rays’ ace Blake Snell, who enters Saturday with a 3-4 record and a 3.56 ERA. First pitch is set for 1:05 PM ET.