Four different Yankees batters collected an RBI and eight pitchers combined to throw nine innings of one-run ball to lead New York to a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. >> Box score
1) Andrew McCutchen went deep in the third inning for his 20th home run of the season, putting the Yankees in front, 1-0. Brett Gardner, who replaced the injured Aaron Hicks, drove in Aaron Judge for the Yankees' second run to begin a two-run fifth inning, which was capped off by Giancarlo Stanton's RBI double. In the seventh, Aaron Judge knocked in McCutchen with a line drive double to center field.
2) Jonathan Holder started and worked around two walks to complete a scoreless first inning. Stephen Tarpley followed and tossed a perfect second inning before Sonny Gray allowed the Rays' only run in his two innings. Chad Green, David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Zach Britton strung together five hitless, scoreless innings.
3) Hicks left in the fourth inning with what the team said was a strained left hamstring.
Tampa's effective use of relievers from start to finish this season has gotten the better of the Yankees more than once this season. Tonight, the Yankees gave the Rays a taste of their own medicine.
The Yankees not only worked a complete bullpen game, but the effort was very good with eight pitchers combining for a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts. The Yankees will not be bullpenning in the wild card game, but the use of it tonight was in an effort to help align the club's rotation for that game and hopefully beyond.
The effort also provided some of the relievers a chance to enter the game sooner than normal. This would be important if the Yankees are forced into a quick predicament in the wild card game (like last season). With the experience they received today, the pitchers will not feel as though it is completely foreign to take the mound in an earlier inning than they are accustomed.
Highlights from tonight's game
Gardy favor. pic.twitter.com/Ourpo3dbq7- New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 25, 2018
Cutch makes the first move. pic.twitter.com/HXqxSqmuOZ- New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 25, 2018
The Yankees continue their series with the Rays on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.