Thursday night’s game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. was propelling for the visitors as the Yankees exploited the number three to help the team top the struggling Rays.
A game of rarities was on display early when Brian Roberts blasted a triple to deep center which scored Scott Sizemore in the top of the second. Sizemore reached base with his third hit of the season. Jacoby Ellsbury made it a trend with a triple of his own that scored Roberts, making the score 3-0 Yankees. But the threes didn’t stop there.
In the bottom of the second, pitcher C.C. Sabathia found himself in a jam with runners on first and second with no outs. Sabathia got Sean Rodriguez to ground into a 5-4-3 triple play and averted disaster with one pitch. In case you were wondering, Rodriguez was the third batter of the inning.
Catcher Brian McCann joined the threes parade by blasting his third home run of the season in the fifth inning, which was the latter of back-to-back bombs with Alfonso Soriano. The pair of long-balls made the score 6-1 and the Yankees wouldn’t look back. Rays ace David Price was tagged for 10 hits, six earned runs and two home runs in just five innings of work.
The game finished 10-2 and served as a statement win for the Yankees. Though it may be early, the game was a confidence-builder for several players. Roberts finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored in his first game back after missing three games with a back strain. The 36-year-old second baseman definitely needed a big game after getting off to a rocky start.
Similarly, Sabathia delivered an inspiring performance after stumbling out of the gates in 2014. The lefty went seven innings with seven hits, six strikeouts, two runs and one earned. Not only was this motivating because it was Sabathia’s longest and most dominant outing, but it came against a divisional opponent.
For those who were keeping count, Derek Jeter also added a three of his own with his third double of the season and finished the game 2-for-4 with one RBI. Everyone from the Captain, to the pitching staff, to the fifth different first baseman of the year for the Yankees all stepped up in game one of what could be a meaningful early series against a bitter divisional rival.