Rays' Longoria hits 1st home run of new major league season

Posted April 04, 2017

"There's games where you're able to do what I was able to do today".

The Tampa Bay Rays didn't disappoint eager fans during this afternoon's home season opener, beating the New York Yankees 7-3.

While three innings into the first game of a 162-game season is obviously far too soon to start writing the Yankees' obit, the early returns are disconcerting to Yankees.

Going up against Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays, Tanaka barely survived the first inning, giving up three runs on four hits and one walk. The Rays are celebrating their 20th season since the 1997 Major League Baseball expansion. Losing Gregorius a big blow, but if Castro, who's off to a terrific start per usual, does his thing, he can assist in the Yankees' quest to bypass one of the many painful features of the 2016 season.

I already mentioned last season's start and how Starlin Castro probably kept that slow start from being 10-times worse than it was.

At Busch Stadium in Missouri, Koji Uehara, who joined World Series champion the Chicago Cubs in the offseason, yielded one walk and one hit but did not allow the St. Louis Cardinals to score during one inning of relief.

A lot of things must go right for the New York Yankees to be a contender for the American League East title, but they will always be hard to beat when Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound. Tanaka took the loss, giving up 7 earned runs on 8 hits in just 2.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts to fall to 0-1 on the year with a 23.63 ERA.

"That was a tough at-bat", Sanchez said through a translator.

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"It's just a night I won't forget", Grichuk said. Ben Zobrist was hit by a pitch from Seung-hwan Oh and Jason Heyward singled before Willson Contreras hit a drive to left for a tying home run.

Archer pitched well, but got into trouble in the seventh, with the bases loaded and two outs.

"You get concerned about everybody no matter what, but he's really good at self-correcting and straightening things out and I think he'll get back on it pretty quickly".

He also has a history of success against the Rays at Tropicana Field, where he's won all three of his career starts with a 1.80 ERA.

While Tanaka didn't have a very good year by his standards last season, he still dominated the Rays with a 4-0 record, 2.88 ERA and 34 Ks over 34.1 IP (5 starts) against Tampa last season.

Dickerson, who hit 24 home runs previous year, was 1 for 5 in his debut as Tampa Bay's leadoff hitter against right-handed pitching.

Both the Yankees and Rays are trying to rebound in 2017, though that is a relative term.

Somehow the organization came back to starting Luis Severino, so the Yankees are hoping that this season is nowhere close to last season as Severino did not win a game as a starter.