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Odor’s timely hit, Urshela’s near-cycle lifts Yankees past Rays in extras

Gio Urshela Yankees
New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) celebrates his 2-run home run with New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the third inning at Tropicana Field.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees took out their frustrations on an afternoon headlined by some major missed opportunities, scoring four runs in the 10th inning to cruise to an 8-4 extra-inning victory on Sunday afternoon over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Rougned Odor’s first hit in his Yankees debut put New York ahead in a 4-4 game in the 10th, opening the floodgates that featured a Gary Sanchez RBI single and a Gio Urshela two-run single that got by Manuel Margot, moving him to third.

Had it not been an error that allowed Urshela to get to third and been scored a triple, Ursehal would have recorded a cycle, going 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, and a home run.

The Yankees forced extras by tying the game in the eighth following a Gleyber Torres RBI single, but it was sandwiched by two major opportunities to get a big hit to separate themselves from the Rays.

With the bases loaded in the seventh, DJ LeMahieu grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the ninth, they squandered a lead-off double by Urshela and walk by Brett Gardner when LeMahieu grounded into a fielder’s choice that eliminated Urshela at third.

Gardner was then picked off at third base when a wild pitch was blocked well by Mike Zunino, who got up and fired to the hot corner to get Gardner in a run down. Aaron Judge then grounded out to end the Yankees’ threat.

It was Zunino who jumped on Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery early, smashing a two-run home run in the second to give the Rays an early lead. But the story of the first two innings was the performance of Tampa opener Brent Honeywell Jr., who made his debut on Sunday after an onslaught of injuries beginning in 2017 that featured four separate elbow operations, including Tommy John surgery and a procedure to decompress his right ulnar nerve.

Honeywell Jr. didn’t allow a single hit in those two innings as the Rays’ opener, striking out two.

He was replaced by former-Met Michael Wacha, who was immediately torched by the Yankees for three runs in the third to deliver New York a momentary lead. Urshela launched his first home run of the year, a two-run shot before Aaron Hicks grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs to score Gardner.

Montgomery gave it right back, however, as last year’s postseason hero Randy Arozarena hit his second home run in as many days, going the opposite way for a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to give Tampa Bay its lead back.

Montgomery settled, though, not allowing a hit for the final two innings of his outing to get through five. However, the fireworks he did allow were only accentuated by hitting Austin Meadows — who has owned the Yankees as of late with nine homers since the start of 2019, including one yesterday, and been at the center of a contentious rivalry — twice.

It prompted the umpires to roll out early warnings after Montgomery hit Meadows for the first time in the shoulder, but no other drama came from it; even when Meadows was plunked in the wrist in the fifth.

Wacha, like Montgomery, also rebounded to keep the Yankees off the board and get through the sixth inning to keep the Rays ahead 4-3. But upon his departure in the seventh, the Yankees quickly loaded the bases with one out against Cody Reed after hitting Sanchez, allowing a single to Urshela, and walking Gardner.

With the feared LeMahieu up, who is almost automatic bringing home runners in scoring position, the Rays turned to Ryan Thompson to keep the Yankees at bay. He did just that, getting LeMahieu to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to get Tampa Bay out of the jam.

The Yankees did manage to get to Thompson in the eighth, however. After walking Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Torres picked up his first RBI of the season with a game-tying one-out single. It was all the Yankees would get out of that threatening opportunity, though, as both Odor and Sanchez flew out.

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