The Yankees bounced back from two straight losses against their AL East rivals to set up an expected showdown between aces Gerrit Cole and Tampa's Blake Snell on Friday night.
The Yankees bounced back from two straight losses against their AL East rivals to set up an expected showdown between aces Gerrit Cole of New York and Blake Snell of Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Cole, backed by four home runs, beat Snell 9-3 in the series opener Monday and will be pitching on short rest for the first time in his big league career.
The Game 5 winner will remain in San Diego to face the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series starting Sunday night.
Gley puttin' it down for Californ-i-a. pic.twitter.com/pZWIDlTkPN
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 9, 2020
The Yankees are trying to reach the ALCS for the third time in four seasons following eliminations by the Astros at that stage in 2017 and last season. The Rays are trying to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 2008, when they made it to their only World Series.
Wearing their home pinstripes for a second straight night at neutral site Petco Park, the Yankees lived up to their Bronx Bombers nickname.
Voit, who led the majors with 22 homers in the pandemic-shortened season, led off the second by driving a 1-0 pitch from Rays opener Ryan Thompson into the second deck in left field for his first career postseason shot.
Torres one-upped his teammate when he deposited a two-run homer onto the balcony on the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner, the centerpiece of the downtown ballpark. That came on the first pitch he saw from Ryan Yarbrough and put the Yankees ahead 4-1 with one out in the sixth.
It was Torres’ first this postseason and fifth of his career, tying Mickey Mantle for the most playoff homers for a Yankees player 23 or younger.
The only younger Yankees player to homer while facing postseason elimination was 20-year-old Mantle, in both Games 6 and 7 of the 1952 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Torres’ homer was the 18th of the series, with each team hitting nine.
New York kept Randy Arozarena in the ballpark after the 25-year-old Cuban homered in each of the first three games. Likewise, the Rays ended Giancarlo Stanton’s franchise-record run of homering in five straight games but he did double. Stanton hit four homers in the first three games of this series and had six total in the first five postseason games.
Chad Green, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman combined for five hitless innings of relief, retiring 15 of the last 16 batters. Green pitched two perfect innings for the win, and Chapman got four outs for his first save of this postseason. He struck out Arozarena on a 101 mph sinker to end the eighth.
Montgomery went four innings in his first appearance since Sept. 24, holding the Rays to one run and three hits while striking out four and walking three. He struck out Arozarena in the first and retired the breakout star on a grounder in the fourth.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the third but got just one run, on Brandon Lowe’s fielder’s choice.
It was a much better start than Montgomery had against the Rays at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 2, when he was pulled after allowing four runs and five hits on 39 pitches, and getting only two outs.
Thompson took the loss. He was chased after allowing DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly for the second out of the second.
Rays: RHP Oliver Drake was replaced on the ALDS roster by RHP Trevor Richards just hours before Game 4 due to what manager Kevin Cash said the team believes is a flexor strain. Drake will be ineligible to return if the Rays advance to the ALCS but would be eligible to return if they reach the World Series.
Yankees: Cole is 2-0 in the postseason. The Yankees will be the visiting team.
Rays: Are expected to come back with Snell.
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