Yankees snap skid against Rays with Rougned Odor’s clutch debut

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It took the newest Yankee to get their biggest hit. Rougned Odor, playing his first game since arriving in a trade from the Rangers, delivered a two-out RBI single in the

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It took the newest Yankee to get their biggest hit.

Rougned Odor, playing his first game since arriving in a trade from the Rangers, delivered a two-out RBI single in the 10th inning Sunday to drive in the winning run before the Yankees pulled away for an 8-4 win over the Rays.

It snapped a three-game losing streak and came after the Yankees had numerous previous chances to take the lead — and failed.

Aaron Judge started the 10th on second and Aaron Hicks was grazed on the leg by a pitch from Collin McHugh. Mike Tauchman bunted the runners over for Gleyber Torres.

With the infield in, Torres grounded to short and Willy Adames easily threw Judge out at the plate.

Just as it seemed the Yankees were poised to squander another opportunity, Odor — designated for assignment by the Rangers before Opening Day — delivered his first hit as a Yankee to score Hicks.

Gary Sanchez followed with a run-scoring single to make it 6-4 and Gio Urshela then came up with his fourth hit of the day, an RBI single to right that also scored Sanchez when Manuel Margot let the ball get by him.

Albert Abreu, just recalled from the alternate site, finished the game with a scoreless bottom of the 10th.

Before the game, Aaron Boone insisted his lineup was poised to break out despite some recent lackluster performances.

“If the guys we have, as talented as they are, are routinely going up there stringing together good at-bats, I promise you, the results are gonna be there,’’ Boone said. “And somebody is gonna have to pay for the struggles of this first week.”

That turned out to be the Rays — at least in the 10th.

An inning earlier, the Yankees’ bats were still lost, as they found a way to not score in a wild top of the ninth.

Urshela started the inning with a hard ground ball up the middle that a diving Adames deflected into right field, allowing a hustling Urshela to get to second for a leadoff double.

Brett Gardner didn’t bunt Urshela to third and instead worked a walk.

DJ LeMahieu then hit a grounder to third to force Urshela, but Kevin Padlo’s throwing error allowed Gardner to get to third and LeMahieu to get to second.

With Judge at the plate, Diego Castillo bounced a pitch and Gardner started to come home, but catcher Mike Zunino grabbed it out of the air and Gardner got caught in a rundown for the second out.

Rougned Odor (r.) drove in the winning run in the 10th inning for the Yankees on April 11, 2021.
AP

Judge followed by grounding to short to end the threat.

Torres had tied it with an RBI single in the eighth, but the Yankees’ struggles with runners in scoring position continued.

The back-and-forth game also featured some drama, as warnings were issued to both benches following Jordan Montgomery drilling Austin Meadows in the shoulder in the bottom of the first inning.

Montgomery then hit Meadows again, this time in the left wrist, with two outs and no one on in the fifth. The umpires met, but let Montgomery stay in the game.

It was the fourth time this series a Rays batter was hit with a pitch.

Montgomery also put the Yankees in a hole in the second.

He allowed a leadoff single to Mike Brosseau and after a pair of fly outs, Zunino crushed a 3-2 changeup into the seats in left to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

It was short-lived, as Tampa Bay opener Brent Honeywell Jr. was removed after two perfect innings in his MLB debut and replaced by ex-Met Michael Wacha.

The first four Yankees Wacha faced reached base, with Urshela blasting a two-run shot to center that traveled an estimated 453 feet, scoring Gary Sanchez to tie the game at 2-2.

Gardner reached on an infield single and moved to third on LeMahieu’s ground-rule double to right. A walk to Judge loaded the bases for Hicks, who grounded into a double play.

That scored Gardner, but helped Wacha escape the inning, as he then got Giancarlo Stanton on a hard grounder to third to keep it 3-2.

Wacha retired the last nine batters he faced before being replaced by Cody Reed to start the seventh.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin

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