Yankees 5-3 Rays: Seventh inning carpet bombing secures win

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John Allen
Friday April 19, 2024

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New York Yankees 5-3 Tampa Bay Rays

NEW YORK — In a thrilling turn of events, Yankees powerhouse Juan Soto secured a remarkable come-from-behind 5-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night with a decisive three-run homer. His clutch shot sailed high into the right-field second deck during the bottom of the seventh inning, completing a dramatic five-run surge that propelled New York to victory.

Soto stars with clutch homer and magnificent catch

Juan Soto continued to leave his mark on the game by launching a towering 409-foot, three-run homer off Chris Devenski (0-1). Basking in the thunderous cheers of the crowd, he observed his blast soaring into the right-field second deck, propelling the Yankees to a 5-1 lead. These late-game heroics capped off a dominant offensive display for Soto, who now boasts a .347 batting average along with an impressive five home runs and 20 RBIs in his debut season with the Yankees.

However, Soto’s brilliance extended beyond the batter’s box. Earlier in the game, he displayed his defensive prowess with a spectacular leaping grab at the right-field wall, robbing Richie Palacios of a potential homer and securing the final out of the third inning.

Yankees hold on for the win

The Yankees were determined to protect their late-inning lead. In the eighth inning, Issac Paredes threatened with a two-run single off reliever Ian Hamilton, but the Bombers’ bullpen stood strong. In the ninth, closer Clay Holmes showed his composure, navigating through a tense situation to secure his eighth save in nine opportunities at Yankee Stadium.

The tension escalated when former Yankee Ben Rortvedt and Yandy Díaz singled, setting the stage for Randy Arozarena’s shallow pop fly to center field. All eyes focused on Aaron Judge, who leapt for the catch. Although he couldn’t secure the ball, Judge’s quick reaction led to a force out at third base, momentarily baffling the Rays who seemed to anticipate an infield fly call. Despite the confusion, the umpires remained silent, sealing the Yankees’ victory.

Yankees seal the win with dramatic double play

Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ young shortstop, played a pivotal role in extinguishing the Rays’ final chance. Under pressure, Palacios hit a sharp shot towards him. Volpe reacted swiftly, throwing the ball to Gleyber Torres at second base for a game-ending double play, ending Tampa Bay’s rally and securing the victory for New York.

This crucial defensive play capped off a night of defying the odds for the Yankees. Despite being out-hit 14-5, their pitching staff persevered, with Dennis Santana (1-0) earning his first win as a Yankee after pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. This victory adds another chapter to Santana’s story, a former prospect who has found a new home in the Bronx.

It’s noteworthy that Palacios, involved in the double play, has a personal tie to the Yankees. Growing up a fan and attending school in Brooklyn, he might not have imagined his Major League debut ending this way. However, the unpredictable drama of baseball continues to unfold in unexpected ways.

The game remained deadlocked until the seventh inning, when the Yankees’ offense came alive. With one out, Alex Verdugo hit a ground ball that slipped under second baseman Curtis Mead’s glove, allowing a runner to reach base. The pressure intensified as Jose Trevino walked, bringing the tying run to the plate. A fielding error by Oswaldo Cabrera at first base allowed another runner to reach safely, and then Anthony Volpe delivered a clutch single to propel the Yankees ahead 2-1.

Prior to this offensive surge, pitching dominated the game. Tampa Bay’s starter, Tyler Alexander, was outstanding for over five innings, yielding only two hits. On the Yankees’ side, Clarke Schmidt matched Alexander’s performance, pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings despite giving up seven hits. However, the seventh inning belonged to the Yankees’ hitters, as they seized their opportunities to take control of the game.

The Yankees roster

Up next

On Saturday, Nestor Cortes (1-1, 4.50 ERA) will take the mound for the Yankees against the Rays’ Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.63 ERA). This game will be preceded by a pregame ceremony honoring the retirement of the Yankees’ legendary radio announcer, John Sterling.

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