Yankees takeaways from 9-3 win in ALDS Game 1 over Rays, including a home run party

The Yankees homered their way to a 9-3 win over their division-rival Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS. >> Box Score

Takeaways from Monday’s game

1) Gerrit Cole has been hurt by the homer all season long, and prior to this game, the Rays accounted for five of his 14 allowed. Well, Randy Arozarena and Ji-Man Choi added two more to the list. Both homers came off the fastball – Arozarena’s a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning while Choi’s was a two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth – that caught the middle of the plate.

But the Yankees’ offense would help out Cole (more on that in just a bit), allowing him to leave the game after six innings with the lead. He also helped himself in the bottom of the fifth when he struck out Manuel Margot to strand the bases loaded with a 100.1 mph heater. Overall, Cole’s final line read six hits and two walks for three earned runs as well as eight strikeouts.

2) The Yankees were loving the long ball in this one, and the first one of the series came from Clint Frazier who got his first postseason start of his career. He launched a 95.6 mph fastball from Rays starter Blake Snell to left field to regain the lead, 2-1. Kyle Higashioka and Aaron Judge would also hit solo bombs in the fifth inning. For Judge, it was the second of the postseason for him and came off the bat at 110 mph.

But it was Giancarlo Stanton’s grand slam in the top of the ninth inning that blew this game wide open and iced the Yankees’ win. He took John Curtiss to deep center field to cap a five-run inning. It was his only hit of the night but the loudest.

3) Aaron Hicks had a huge insurance-run hit in the top of the ninth inning before Stanton opened things up, scoring Higashioka on a single to make it a 5-3 game. He also had a sac fly to bring DJ LeMahieu in as the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Hicks had his first career three-hit game in the postseason as well.

4) While Cole was battling some location issue, Blake Snell definitely wasn’t himself either for the Rays. He was all over the place to start, and the Yankees weren’t biting at his curveballs in the dirt. Snell left after five innings, giving up four runs on those three homers.

5) A note on Choi: His homer off Cole was the fourth of his career and he is now 10-of-19 off him with three doubles as well.

6) Gio Urshela may not have had one of those Yankee homers, but he was doing it all in this one. He made some great plays in the field in the bottom of the second inning, while going 2-for-5 at the dish as well.

7) LeMahieu continues to set the tone for the Yanks in that leadoff role. He had a solid nine-pitch at-bat that ended in a single to kick off the game. He finished 2-for-5 on the night with a walk.

8) The Yankees’ offense clearly brought their hot bats from Cleveland to the west coast. They had 15 hits in this game — that was the same number in Game 1 of the Wild Card Round — and have scored 31 runs in three games.

Also, their 11 home runs in the first three games of the postseason is an MLB record.

What’s Next

The Yankees look to carry that momentum from Game 1 into Game 2 on Tuesday night at 8:10 p.m. Deivi Garcia gets his first career postseason start against Tyler Glasnow.

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