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Everything was groovy for the Yankees heading into Tampa for a 4-game series against the Rays. They were winners of 4 straight and 8 of 12 since the season-opening 1-2 series in Houston, their pitching staff was clicking on all cylinders, they had Derek Jeter back at shortstop, they got Brian Roberts back at second base, and they were planning to have Mark Teixeira back on Sunday. Last night's series opener featured each team's big lefty, CC Sabathia for the Yanks and David Price for the Rays. It was all Sabathia on this night.
- Price wasn't close to anything resembling his best and the Yanks jumped on him early. 2 singles and a walk netted them a run in the top of the 1st, and a double, 2 triples (Roberts and Ellsbury), and another single got them 3 in the 2nd.
- CC was better than Price, but he needed some help to stay scoreless. He got it in the 2nd when Yangervis Solarte started a triple play to end the inning. He helped himself out by K'ing Desmond Jennings to strand 2 in the 3rd.
- Sabathia got another big help with a double play ball in the 4th, but with 2 outs Brian McCann let a ball get by him and the Rays got on the board.
- No matter. McCann got the run back and then some when he and Alfonso Soriano hit back-to-back HR in the top of the 5th to make it a 6-1 Yankee lead. Price wasn't beating guys with his fastball and he could not get his changeup down in the zone.
- The Yanks added 1 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th to put the game out of reach. CC gave up another HR for his only ER of the night and exited after 7. Dellin Betances was a little shaky behind him in the 8th, but a Solarte 2-run shot in the 9th sealed the deal.
- Brian Roberts: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI. If this is how he's going to hit when he comes back from injury, maybe he should hurt his back more often.
- Solarte: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K, 3 LOB. The legend continues to grow. Starting triple plays, hitting his first career Major League homer. All in day's work for the new Shane Spencer.
- Sabathia: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K. He was in and out of trouble all night, but unlike his previous starts, Sabathia didn't let any of the trouble snowball into a big inning. His defense behind him helped, but he helped himself too by throwing strikes (72 out of 107 pitches) and changing speeds to keep the Tampa hitters off balance.
- Carlos Beltran: 0-5, 1 K, 4 LOB. The offense goes off for double digit runs and 16 hits and the hottest hitter on the team isn't involved in it in any way. Who woulda thunk it?
It'll be another lefty for the Yanks to deal with tonight in Erik Bedard in game 2 of this series. They send Hiroki Kuroda out to counter.