Yankees Rally in 9th, Take AL East Lead

New York Yankees’ Gio Urshela with teammates (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The season has not been so giving, but the Yankees just keep on winning.

On Friday, the Yankees’ bats were held in-check for most of the evening against the Rays’ parade of pitchers. Ryne Stanek got the start against C.C Sabathia and through eight innings, the Yankees had just one run on a homer from the newly acquired, Kendrys Morales.

Tampa took early 3-1 lead in the 8th by capitalizing off of Chad Green’s season-long struggles and a throwing error by Gleyber Torres. The Yankees faced their biggest challenge of the night as Rays closer Jose Alvarado took the mound in the 9th.

Known for his high heat, Alvarado has been nearly unhittable this season.

But as these “Baby Bombers” have shown many times before, they aren’t going down without a fight.

In the Top of the 9th, Luke Voit as John Sterling says “hit the ball to Detroit” after swinging at the first pitch from the Rays fireballer into right-center field, homering on a 99 mph pitch. It was the third-fastest pitch hit for a home run this season according to MLB.com.

Despite having the most injuries in the MLB, Voit and the Yankees confidence never wavered.

“We knew we had a chance … even though we’re facing Alvarado, doesn’t matter who we’re facing,” Voit said. “It is, honestly, crazy to think that could happen, but you know what? Just keep going.”

Shortly after a key double to left by Torres and a Clint Frazier intentional walk, Thairo Estrada scored the tying run on a wild pitch from Alvarado, his second wild pitch of the season, which tied the total he’s had in each of his first two seasons.

With the game tied 2-2 and a runner on first and third, Gio Urshela came up to the plate. As the crowd and teammates showed full confidence, Gio once again delivered on a 99-mph 2-0 sinker and launched it over Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier’s head, sending home the game-winning run as his teammates rushed him on the field.

C.C’s confidence echoed in the games closing moments because of his belief in Urshela.

“‘We got this,’” he said he was thinking. “Especially when Gio came up, I said, ‘Turn out the lights.’”

The Yankees 3-run 9th inning magic catapulted them into first place in the A.L East and now lead a half game over the Rays.

Today, they will look to create more cushion as Masharo Tanaka 3-3, 3.47 ERA takes the mound against Tampa’s Blake Snell 3-4 3.56 ERA at 1:05PM. Catch the game right here on 640 The Hurricane!