The Orioles grabbed a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Nate McLouth in the top of the fifth, but the Yankees drew even in the bottom of the sixth.
Derek Jeter led off the inning with a double to the right field corner and was bunted over to third base by Ichiro Suzuki. Joe Saunders then walked Mark Teixeira before inducing a grounder from Robinson Cano, but Ryan Flaherty was only able to make a play at first base. Jeter scored from third on the play to tie it up.
The Yankees had a chance for more, but Tommy Hunter was brought into the game to face Alex Rodriguez and struck him out swinging on a 97 mph heater to end the threat. We’re all tied up going into the top of the seventh.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: