SAN DIEGO (AP) - Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam in the ninth inning for New York’s fourth home run of the game, and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 9-3 Monday night in the opener of their AL Division Series at Petco Park.
Stanton homered to straightaway center field on a 2-2 pitch from John Curtiss with one out. The slugger took several steps with his bat still in his hands as he watched the ball sail through the warm San Diego night before beginning his trot.
Kyle Higashioka and Aaron Judge hit the tying and go-ahead home runs off Blake Snell in the fifth inning. Clint Frazier hit an impressive shot into the second deck in left in the third.
The Bronx Bombers became the first team in American League history to hit a grand slam in back-to-back playoff games. Gio Urshela did it in Game 2 of the first-round sweep of Cleveland. Two NL teams have done it, the 1977 Dodgers and 2011 Diamondbacks.
The Yankees set a franchise record by hitting at least three home runs in three straight postseason games. They are the second team to do in baseball history after the Rays did it in four straight in 2008.
The ball was flying for the Rays as well off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in downtown San Diego. Randy Arozarena homered with two outs in the first and Ji-Man Choi muscled an opposite-field, two-run shot with no outs in the fourth into the Rays bullpen beyond the fence in left-center to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead.
ASTROS 10, ATHLETICS 5
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Carlos Correa homered twice and drove in four, Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead, two-run single during Houston’s four-run sixth inning and the Astros rallied to beat Oakland in the opener of their AL Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
George Springer, MVP of the 2017 World Series, had four hits for Houston.
The Astros rallied with two outs in the sixth against Oakland’s vaunted bullpen to take control of Major League Baseball’s first neutral-site postseason game resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Houston pounded out 16 hits in all as the A’s ran through eight pitchers.
Altuve’s line-drive single to left scored Martin Maldonado and Springer to put the Astros in front, 6-5. Altuve moved up on the throw home and scored on Michael Brantley’s single to right.
Blake Taylor got the victory with one inning of relief. J.B. Wendelken took the loss, allowing four runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning.
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