Bats come alive, back Archer’s seven solid innings.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Happy Opening Day, everybody!
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to get down to business. It’s time for the games to count. Time for pennant races to begin…and for the Tampa Bay Rays to open the 2017 season against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field.
Spring training is over. The Rays have some work to do.
New York sent Masahiro Tanaka to the mound against a lineup with some new faces this season. However it would be the old faces that would play a key role in the Rays jumping on the Yankees ace early and often, jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a sac fly by Evan Longoria and a two-RBI double by Logan Morrison.
After the Yanks got right back in it with two in the top of the second inning off Chris Archer, the Rays would jump right back out to a three-run lead as Longoria hit a two-run bomb into 162 Landing down the left field line to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
The bats went right back to work in the bottom of the third inning as Morrison hit a one-out, solo home run to right center and then a Mallex Smith bunt got thrown into the Rays bullpen to score Tim Beckham who had doubled a hitter previous. Tanaka would be chased after just 2.2 innings and trailing 7-2.
Archer headed to the seventh inning sitting at just 86 pitches. Since the second inning, he’d shut down the Yankees bats. Back-to-back singes by Starling Castro and Chase Headley put two aboard to lead off the inning. A few minutes later and Archer was pumping his fists, losing his hat, and leading the Rays off the field with the Yankees stranding the bases loaded.
Danny Farquhar pitched a shutout inning in the eighth. Rookie Austin Pruitt got into some trouble in his MLB debut, loading the bases in the ninth. Closer Alex Colome gave up just a sac fly to Chris Carter, sealing the Opening Day win.
For Chris Archer, it was his first win as an Opening Day starter. He’d lost the last two years to the Blue Jays and Orioles.
- Rays manager, Kevin Cash: “I think the tone was set by the way Arch came out and was under control of himself and the game.”
- Rays 1B Logan Morrison on his 3-hit day: “It feels good but it is one game. Got 161 more. If every game was like this I think I’d be a Hall of Famer and a really rich man.”
- Jake Odorizzi takes the hill against C.C. Sabathia on Tuesday. First pitch from Tropicana Field set for 7:10 PM.
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