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New York Yankees starter Luis Severino delivers to the Toronto Blue Jays during fourth-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)


MLB Weekly Recap: It’s a split in Toronto, Home Opener Today

Monday 3/26: at Atlanta Braves (Final exhibition at Sun Trust Park) (W 5-1, 18-13-1)

Sonny Gray, Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Jonathan Holder, Ben Heller and Aroldis Chapman were nothing short of fantastic on Monday evening. The Yankees group of pitchers combined to strike out 14 and allowed just four hits. Gray started the game and lasted five innings. The Vanderbilt alum had his command working from the get-go, and the result was seven strikeouts and no walks. When Betances and Chapman both entered the game in the sixth and ninth, respectively, they promptly struck out each batter that the pair faced. Robertson didn’t allow a base-runner either. Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorius both connected for two-run home runs, recording the first pair of Yankee hits in the game. Stanton obliterated the baseball into the second deck of Sun Trust Park’s left-field stands. The fifth and final run was scored off of Peter Moylan in the top of the eighth inning when Shane Robinson doubled home, Trey Amburgey.

Tuesday 3/27: Scheduled off day

Wednesday 3/28: Scheduled off day

Thursday 3/29: (Opening Day) at Toronto Blue Jays (W 6-1, 1-0)

TORONTO, ON – MARCH 29: New York Yankees Left field Brett Gardner (11) hits a home run during the MLB season-opener game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON., Canada March 29, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

It didn’t take long for Giancarlo Stanton to impact a game as a member of the New York Yankees. In fact, it took just one lone at-bat. Stanton crushed a hanging J.A. Happ fastball that had an exit velocity of 117 mph and traveled 426 feet for a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. In the top of the fifth Stanton struck again as he hit an RBI double off reliever John Axford that one-hopped the left-center field wall and scored a hustling Aaron Judge all the way from first base giving the Yankees a 3-0 advantage. The very next batter, Gary Sanchez, hit his first double of the season on a line drive to center field, bringing home Stanton. After getting robbed on numerous hard-hit balls that resulted in outs, leadoff hitter Brett Gardner smacked a Danny Barnes slider over the right-field wall for a solo home run. The Blue Jays did get on the board in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kevin Pillar went yard off a Dellin Betances first-pitch fastball. Stanton would answer back for the Yankees, smacking his second homer of the game. This ball was hit at an exit velocity of 109.4 mph and went 434 feet. Luis Severino pitched fantastic. His stat line reads 5.2 innings pitched, one hit, three walks and seven strikeouts. Sevy’s slider was on. As a result, he threw the pitch almost half the time. His changeup was used less than a handful of times – as it was not needed in his repertoire for this contest. Chad Green pitched great as well, in 1.1 innings pitched the righty struck out three. Aroldis Chapman came in the ninth to lock down the win with ease. The Cuban native struck out two of the three batters that he faced.

Friday 3/30: at Toronto Blue Jays (W 4-2, 2-0)

New York got its second win in their first pair of games thanks to a huge offensive night by Brandon Drury and a dominant start by Masahiro Tanaka. Drury doubled home Gary Sanchez in the top of the second inning to give the Yankees an early lead. In the very next frame, Randal Grichuk answered back for Toronto. Grichuk hit a solo-blast off Tanaka to left-center field. That proved to be Tanaka’s lone blunder in six innings. The Japanese native struck out eight, walked none, and gave up two other hits. Tyler Wade gave the ‘Bronx Bombers’ a three-run lead when he doubled home Didi Gregorius, Neil Walker, and Drury in the top of the sixth inning, chasing Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez. Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson held the Blue Jays off the board in their appearances. Aroldis Chapman struggled in the ninth but still recorded his first save of the season, sealing the Yankees first winning streak of the season. Chapman allowed one run on two hits while he struck out three in the ninth inning.

Saturday 3/31: at Toronto Blue Jays (L 3-5, 2-1)

A nightmare appearance from Dellin Betances proved to be the difference in Saturday’s contest. Despite a two-run home run and a solo-shot from Tyler Austin that accounted for half of the Yankees hits and all of the team’s runs. CC Sabathia pitched well in his five innings of work. He struck out four, walked two, and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits. The runs were scored on two Justin Smoak doubles. Betances, who now sports a 9.00 ERA, looked horrible. Kevin Pillar got on and preceded to steal three bases, including home on a wild pitch. The hard-throwing righty also gave up his second home run of the young season to former-Yankee Yangervis Solarte. In all of last year, Betances only permitted three homers.

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Sunday 4/1: at Toronto Blue Jays (L 4-7, 2-2)

The bullpen faltered again leading to the Yankees first consecutive losses of the season. Justin Smoak got the best of a David Robertson fastball, that landed deep into the Rogers Center stands for what proved to be a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning. Tommy Kahnle was also tagged by Smoak for a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. Toronto got out to an early lead off starter Sonny Gray, who would last four innings. Gray was initially bailed out by Aaron Judge early on in the bottom of the second inning on a Gift Ngope single. Judge threw out Russell Martin at the plate, throwing a perfect strike and recording his first outfield assist of the season. Devon Travis later recorded an RBI-single that brought home Kevin Pillar to fire the opening salvo. Didi Gregorius immediately answered back in the bottom of the third with an RBI-double of his own, tying the game at one. Neil Walker would then bring home Gregorius on a sharp run-scoring single to left field. Brandon Drury padded the Yankees lead as he connected for a two-run home run off Jays starter Marcus Stroman, scoring the Yankees third and fourth runs of the inning (and game).

On Deck This Week

Monday 4/2: vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 pm

Tuesday 4/3: Scheduled off day

Wednesday 4/4: vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 pm

Thursday 4/5: vs. Baltimore Orioles, 6:35 pm

Friday 4/6: vs. Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 pm

Saturday 4/7: vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 pm

Sunday 4/8: vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 pm

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