1. Yankees win their fifth in a row: The Yankees won their fifth game in a row last night, pounding the Rays for 10 runs on 16 hits, en route to a 10-2 victory in the first game of this four-game series. CC Sabathia had his best start of the season, going seven innings and allowing only one earned run, improving his record to 2-2 on the season. Rays’ ace David Price didn’t fare nearly as well, allowing six runs on ten hits in five innings of work.
Brian McCann got the scoring started for the Yankees, driving in Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the first. In the second, Brian Roberts (who had missed the previous four games due to injury), made a triumphant return to the lineup, driving in Scott Sizemore with a triple. Two batters later, Ellsbury followed suit, driving in Roberts with a triple of his own. Derek Jeter also joined the hit parade, knocking in Ellsbury with a single. In the fifth, Alfonso Soriano and McCann went back-to-back, with Soriano sending a long shot to left field, and McCann sending one to right.
But the story of the game was rookie sensation Yangervis Solarte, who continues to do nothing but shine for the Yankees. In the second inning, Solarte started a 5-4-3 triple play, the Yankees’ second triple play in as many years. It was also their third triple play in the last four years, all of them coming when Sabathia was on the mound. Talk about getting help from your defense. In the ninth, with the Yankees already ahead 8-2, Solarte drilled a pitch from Rays’ closer Grant Balfour into the seats for his first major league home run. Solarte has been quite a story for the Yankees.
After signing a minor league deal back in January, Solarte made the team out of training camp, and now is tied for the league lead in doubles, and leads the AL with a .373 batting average. The win improved the Yankees to 10-6, and dropped the Rays to 7-9.
2. Beltran alright after fall: The Yankees got a scare last night, when Carlos Beltran, chasing a foul ball in the right-field corner, crashed into a wall at high speed and tumbled over it. He remained in right field, and after the game said he was fine, just a little sore. Beltran said he was trying not to take his eyes off the ball, seeing as balls are easily lost in Tropicana Field’s roof, and didn’t see the wall when he went over it. The Yankees are surely breathing a deep sigh of relief that Beltran suffered no serious injuries.
3. Tonight’s Game: Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 3.86) will take on Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00) in Game 2 of this four-game series. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. Those are your Bomber Bites for Friday, April 18th!