NY Yankees 9, Tampa Bay 3
When: 8:07 PM ET, Monday, October 5, 2020
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
David Rackley, 1B -
CB Bucknor, 2B -
Mark Carlson, 3B -
Todd Tichenor, LF -
Marvin Hudson, RF -
Giancarlo Stanton belted a grand slam in the ninth inning to power the New York Yankees to a 9-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series in San Diego.
Clint Frazier homered to lead off the third inning, Kyle Higashioka did the same to start the fifth and Aaron Judge also went deep for the Yankees.
New York's 11 homers are the most in a team's first three games of a postseason in major league history, eclipsing the previous mark of nine held by the 1995 Yankees.
Stanton, born and raised in Southern California, got a psychological boost from the presence of his parents at the game.
"First game that my parents were able to come to (this year), so that helps," he said. "That's huge. My dad for sure doesn't miss more than a month at a time, let alone we're in October now."
Gerrit Cole (1-0) allowed three runs on six hits and struck out eight in six innings for fifth-seeded New York, which will look to push Tampa Bay to the brink of elimination on Tuesday in Game 2 of the best-of-five series.
"We stayed in there against Cole," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Unfortunately it seemed like as the game went on, he got a little nastier. It's amazing how he's able to dial up his fastball when he needs it."
After Ji-Man Choi's two-run homer gave top-seeded Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning, New York flexed its muscles in the fifth to regain the advantage.
Higashioka led off the fifth by depositing a 1-1 fastball from Blake Snell (0-1) over the wall in left field. Judge followed two batters later by sending a first-pitch curveball from Snell over the wall in left for his 10th career postseason homer.
Aaron Hicks, who had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, added insurance in the ninth with an RBI single. New York subsequently loaded the bases before Stanton muscled a 2-2 slider from John Curtiss over the wall in center field to cap the scoring.
"It's one game. We've got to win three," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We know they're a great team and a great opponent, and we know we gotta play our best to beat 'em. I don't think there's any statements or anything like that. We've gotta win two more, and that's going to be a challenge, and we're excited for that challenge."
Stanton's grand slam was New York's second in as many games in the postseason. Gio Urshela did the honors on Wednesday as the Yankees posted a 10-9 victory over Cleveland in Game 2 of the wild-card round.
Frazier, who was making his first start since Sept. 26, sent a 1-0 fastball from Snell over the wall in left field to stake New York to a 2-1 lead in the third inning.
The advantage didn't last long, however. Randy Arozarena, who belted a solo homer in the first inning, singled to lead off the fourth before Choi sent a 1-1 fastball from Cole over the wall in center field.
Snell gave up four runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings.
"Three home runs, that's frustrating," Snell said. "It's just a weird night for me. I couldn't really get in a rhythm. I couldn't find consistency in pitches, so that was really frustrating."
--Field Level Media
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