Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees game preview

by Steven Clarke April 17, 2017, 0:37
Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees game preview

Judge's sixth-inning RBI single against Jumbo Diaz (0-1) - measured at 116.5 miles per hour off the bat - tied the score 3-3, and the Yankees had runners at the corners and when Brett Gardner hit a one-out comebacker.

Right-hander Blake Snell (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will start for the Rays. Running hard on a comebacker, Gardner slammed into Weeks, who had not played first in the major leagues before this season and stayed in the baseline as he reached for reliever Xavier Cedeno's poor throw.

The Rays extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth, but that changed dramatically over the next two innings. Gardner passed a concussion protocol, was diagnosed with a bruised jaw and a strained neck. Cash told reporters Weeks avoided serious injury but was clear with reporters that Weeks's inexperience at the position (just three career starts a first) was not a factor.

"I noticed especially a year ago catching him in [Triple-A Scranton Wilkes/Barre], he always takes it to another level when he's in a little bit of trouble", said catcher Kyle Higashioka, who started for the first time in the majors Wednesday. But then he walked Evan Longoria on a 3-and-2 pitch and he would rue that at-bat when Rickie Weeks launched a two-run homer to left.

Jordan Montgomery makes his big league debut in NY. Montgomery tossed four ideal innings to close out a combined no-hitter with two other pitchers before making two starts. "I thought he did a pretty good job, " Joe Girardi said.

With his parents, Raury and Jim, on hand after driving up from SC, the Sumter native threw 61 of 89 pitches for strikes - including 17 missed swings.

"He always takes it to another level when he gets in a little bit of trouble", Higashioka said. On Wednesday, the Yankees won again 8-4.

He started Tampa's season opener last Thursday, striking out eight while allowing three hits, one walk and one unearned run in five innings of a 2-1 loss to Lakeland. He handled the Yankees smoothly until the fifth, when he walked Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded and Jumbo Diaz (0-1) threw a run-scoring wild pitch.

Yankees: 1B Greg Bird missed his fourth straight game.

Luis Severino had originally been slated to start on Wednesday, according to Adler, but his start will be pushed back a day.


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