Michael Pineda got his revenge on the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, holding the good guys to just one run on two hits in New York’s home opener. The Yankees snapped the Rays three-game win streak, handing them an 8–1 loss.
Pineda fanned 10 of the first 20 hitters before Evan Longoria lined a a hanging slider into the left field corner for a double. Yet the Yankees’ right-hander rebounded to strike out Brad Miller to end the threat.
The Rays scored their lone run of the game on Logan Morrison’s solo shot to right in following inning — his second homer of the season.
LoMo struck for the Rays lone run of the afternoon with this swing. pic.twitter.com/XMaYeB4GFz
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 10, 2017
But just as the Rays began to make firm contact against Pineda, the right-hander departed with two outs in the frame, leaving Tyler Clippard to get the final out of the inning. Left-hander Chason Shreve took over in the ninth and put the Rays down in order; notching the Yankees’ 12th strikeout of the day along the way.
As for New York, the Yankees gave Pineda all he would need in the third and fourth innings. Brett Gardner took advantage of a Rays mistake in the third to break a scoreless tie, when he reached on a strikeout-wild pitch that would have been the second out of the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled on the next pitch to right-center, scoring Gardner for a one run lead.
Then two outs in the fourth, Aaron Judge crushed a 2-2 hanger into the left-field seats for his second homer of the season — his second in as many days — extending the lead to 2-0.
Chase Headley further distanced the two teams in the seventh, when he hit a first-pitch homer to right that landed in the first row of seats beyond the short porch.
The Yankees made the game well out of reach in in the bottom of the eighth, after Gardner reached on a Brad Miller error, then stole second. Ellsbury lined out for the first out of the ining, but with Matt Holliday at the plate, Gardner picked the pocket of Cobb and swiped third. Holliday doubled home the run to the left-center gap, chasing Cobb, and giving New York a three run lead.
All told Cobb pitched well, although I’m sure he’d like to have a couple of those pitches back. The righty went 7-1/3 innings and gave up four runs (all earned) on six hits — the Rays third start of seven innings or more in eight games. Cobb walked one and fanned seven.
Austin Pruitt entered the game and all but handed the Yankees the win by allowing two runs on four hits including a homer and an RBI triple.
After an off-day Tuesday, the Rays and Yankees will play the second game of the series Wednesday afternoon.