Giancarlo Stanton’s grand slam provided insurance for the New York Yankees in their Game 1 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Bronx Bombers were out in full force again in Game 1 of the NLDS, and after clinging to a 4-3 lead heading in the top of the ninth inning, the New York Yankees bats came alive yet again to secure a win in the series opener.
Playing at Petco Park, the Yankees turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead thanks to individual homers from Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka in the top of the fifth inning. No one could add to the scoreboard until the top of the ninth, when Aaron Hicks brought Higashioka home with a single to make it 5-3.
Then Giancarlo Stanton blew the game wide open with a much-appreciated grand slam that effectively put the Tampa Bay Rays away for good:
Stanton’s bomb made it a 9-3 game heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, by which point Tampa Bay had virtually no chance of coming back. Between Judge, Higashioka, Stanton and Clint Frazier, the Yankees hit four homers for seven runs in Game 1.
Blake Snell and the rest of the Rays pitching crew got absolutely rocked in this one, and nothing drove that point home better than Stanton providing more than enough insurance for the Yankees right when it felt like they were pulling away thanks to Hicks’ single that gave New York a two-run lead.
Now it’ll be on the Rays to respond in Game 2 after dropping the series opener, but one thing’s for certain: Those Bronx Bombers can strike at any moment to blow a game wide open, and the pitching staff will have to be better if the Rays want to avoid those kinds of game-changing plays.