By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
May 24th, 2013
New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays
Final Score: Yankees 9 Rays 4
The New York Yankees were able to start their weekend series in Tropicana Field with a win Friday night over the Tampa Bay Rays behind a good offensive performance. The win moves the Yankees to (29-18) on the season, and they are still one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox.
Yankees Starter David Phelps has seemed to gain a stranglehold on the fifth spot in the rotation, as he picked up his third win of the season on Friday night. Phelps was cruising in the game until the sixth inning, but with an eight run lead the game was never in jeopardy for Phelps. He finished the game going 7.2 innings allowing four runs on on six hits, with three strikeouts. Ivan Nova was back with the Yankees, but instead of getting the start was sitting in the bullpen, so it would appear that Joe Girardi will be sticking with Phelps for the foreseeable future.
The bullpen didn’t have to do much with the long start from Phelps, as Boone Logan finished up the eighth inning with a strikeout, and then Shawn Kelley finished the game off in the ninth with a scoreless frame.
Lead-off hitter Brett Gardner, who is not by any means known for his power, provided the only homerun of the game with a two-run homerun in the fourth inning off Roberto Hernandez. For Gardner it is his fourth homerun of the season already, and his career-high is just seven, which he had in 2011.
The bottom half of the order was a difference maker in this game, as rookie David Adams led the way, and continued his great hitting since being called-up. Adams went two for five at the plate with two runs scored.
First Baseman Lyle Overbay, whose playing time is going to certainly be cut a lot with the return of Mark Teixeira looming, but he made the most of his at-bats on Friday. Overbay went two for five, with two runs, two RBIs, and hit his 11th double of the season.
Jayson Nix also provided some run producing hits from the eighth spot in the lineup, as Nix went two for four with a triple, a walk, one run, and two RBIs for a very nice game.
Catcher Chris Stewart was back in the lineup after missing about a week, and it didn’t look like he was rusty at all at the plate. Stewart went two for four with a run, and RBI in his first game since May 16th against the Seattle Mariners.
Despite the nice win over the Rays the Yankees did suffer yet another injury blow, as Curtis Granderson will be heading back to the DL with a broken pinkie finger after he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
The Yankees will be sending Vidal Nuno (1-1, 1.13) to the mound to start his second game of the season against Matt Moore (8-0, 2.29), who is looking like the favorite right now for the AL Cy Young.