Yankees Takeaways from Thursday's 5-1 Game 4 ALDS win over Rays, including Gleyber Torres' key performance
Gleyber Torres celebrates after the home run against Rays in Game 4 of ALDS 2
After the elimination, the Yankees had their backs against the wall on Thursday as they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 in Game 4 against ALDS at Petco Park, San Diego. >> Box Score
Seven food stalls from Thursday's game
1. LHP Jordan Montgomery got the nod and started the tone setting. Montgomery ended the first inning with a much-needed strikeout from a fiery three-way goal from Randy Arozarena.
Though Montgomery didn't have the best of things, he battled his way through a four-frame foray when he limited the damage to one run - which resulted from a high-base situation in the third inning. The Rays scraped a run over Brandon Lowe's ground ball of an outfield player's choice in second place and scored Willy Adames in third, but Montgomery took out Arozarena again and brought in the Yankees.
Montgomery threw 62 pitches (34 strikes), scattered three hits, hit four, and walked three. He didn't get a chance to start the fifth inning, but Montgomery had a solid first four frames overall.
2.1B Luke Voit was overdue and got through with a leadoff solo shot in the second inning. Voit's Explosion, a 453-foot home race deep down the left field deck that kicked out at 108.3 mph, put the Yankees 1-0 in the much-needed first blood draw. The bombshell was also a first postseason for Voit.
3. According to Voits Homer, the Yankees' approach to getting Rays Opener and RHP Ryan Thompson paid off. The Sidearmer put out three walks - LF Brett Gardner, SS Gleyber Torres, and 3B Gio Urshela - and provided an opportunity full of bases where there were none. C Kyle Higashioka struck, but 2B DJ LeMahieu struck a sacrificial fly low enough to the right that took Gardner home and started another run for the Yankees' 2-0 lead.
4. RHP Chad Green returned for the Yankees after a shaky game in Wednesday's 8-4 defeat in Game 3. Green gave the Yankees a couple of perfect innings for relief, knocked out two, and hit the zone with a 17-strike spray over 24 pitches. He held his breath for a moment as Manuel Margot's double strike in the sixth broke the bat and drove deep into the center, but he died in Hicks' glove on the warning trail for an inning-end flyout.
5. Voit was almost identical to Margot in the top half and just missed a deep fly that just wasn't late. Gardner, however, took on Voit and brought the Yankees to a 2-2 single in the opposing field, which was deposited on the left. In the next seat, Torres launched a two-run shot into the warehouse on the left - a triple 4-1 pillow. Torres' explosion moved 410 feet with an exit velocity of 108.7 miles per hour.
6. After questionable decisions in the Yankees' Games 2 and 3 defeats, manager Aaron Boone took a handful of moves that turned out to be wise. Gardner, who shook up the stroke order, started and scored in sixth place. He collected two hits and worked one step. A bridge from Montgomery to Green paved the way for LHPs Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman.
Britton hit five batters in 1 2/3 innings and prepared Chapman perfectly after hitting the zone like Green with an efficient 16 strokes over 22 fields and beating three. Chapman started with two losses in eighth and went to Lowe before setting out on the next three fields - fastballing 101 mph. He closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning and crowned his 1 1/3 hitless frames by hitting two - including Mike Brosseau - and throwing 23 pitches (14 strikes).
7. Before Chapman's final frame, the Yankees added an insurance run as Torres stayed hot. In the eighth round Torres scored in the middle and scored the goal position after a second steal. Two batters later, Higashioka drove in a line through the hole on the left, scoring Torres from second place. The Yankees took a 5-1 lead.
A winner-take-all game 5 starts on Friday at 7:10 p.m. Ace RHP Gerrit Cole, who started the 9-3 win in Game 1 on Monday with 97 pitch (60 strikes) in six innings, scored eight, two and three runs with six hits, should be available. After three days off, Cole likely gets the ball against an all-hands-on-deck Rays approach, possibly led by LHP Blake Snell, who also started Game 1.
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