The New York Yankees rode a five-run ninth inning capped by a grand slam off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton to a 9-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Monday.
Stan Diego. pic.twitter.com/YQ3W5l2pjJ
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 6, 2020
With Stanton’s homer, the Yankees became the first AL team to hit grand slams in back-to-back playoff games, according to Stats by Stats.
It was also the second time in franchise history the Yankees have had multiple grand slams in the same postseason, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com. Bill Skowron and Yogi Berra each did it in 1956.
The Yankees’ bats have come alive at the right time. New York has now scored nine or more runs in each of its first three games of the postseason – an MLB first.
Yankees are 1st team in MLB history to score 9+ runs in each of their first 3 games of a postseason.
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) October 6, 2020
But it didn’t look like it would be a rout early on. The game was a seesaw battle as Randy Arozarena and Ji-Man Choi each took Yankees ace Gerrit Cole deep. Choi continued his brand of dominance over Cole, mashing his third homer off the right-hander in 2020, and fourth off Cole overall.
Despite allowing a pair of long balls, Cole put New York in a position to win with eight strikeouts over six innings of work. The Yankees’ hitters did the rest as Clint Frazier, Kyle Higashioka, and Aaron Judge all joined Stanton with home runs of their own.
The Rays made a bit of history as well: Left-hander Shane McClanahan became the first major-league pitcher to make his MLB debut in a postseason game when he took over for reliever John Curtiss in the ninth.
Game 2 is set for Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. ET at Petco Park in San Diego. Deivi Garcia will start for the Yankees with Tyler Glasnow toeing the rubber for the Rays.
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