The Yankees opened an early 7-0 lead and beat the Rays, 11-5, on Wednesday night in Tampa.
- RBI singles from Gary Sanchez, Brian McCann, and Ronald Torreyes in the first inning gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead
- In the second inning, Sanchez hit a three-run homer and Didi Gregorius added a sacrifice fly to extend New York's lead to 7-0.
- The Rays hit four home runs in the third inning off Masahiro Tanaka -- including back-to-back-to-back shots -- to cut the lead to 7-4.
- Sanchez hit a solo homer (his 19th of the season) in the sixth inning to make it 8-4, Yankees.
- Brad Miller's solo homer in the eighth inning cut Tampa's deficit to 8-5.
- An RBI single from Mason Williams and two-run homer from Donovan Solano in the ninth inning upped New York's lead to 11-5
As the Yankees try to desperately inch their way back into the playoff race (again), Sanchez continues to elevate his game to meteoric heights.
With the win, the Yankees move to within two games in the loss column for the second wild card spot as the Orioles are feeling the same pain Boston delivered to New York this weekend. A playoff berth is still a longshot, as the Yankees have three other teams to climb, but all the Yanks can do now is worry about getting wins.
As for Sanchez, the historic run he is on is nothing short of amazing and likely won't be replicated. The Yankees would have been excited had Sanchez hit a handful of homers (his season-high in the minors is 18, done twice, in 474 and 400 plate appearances) and showed enough aptitude behind the plate to believe he was going to continue to improve.
At this point, is seems whatever comes from Sanchez next season will feel like a letdown, and crazy enough, that would include a 20-homer year. Imagine that!
The Yankees wrap up their three-game series against the Rays on Thursday at 7:10 p.m.
Luis Cessa (4.44, 1.12) faces Blake Snell (3.87 ERA, 1.65 WHIP).