Record Day For Gregorius In Rays Fourth Straight Loss

Didi Gregorius did everything possible to make New York fans who braved the elements to come to Opening Day leave happy.

The Yankees shortstop homered twice and drove in a franchise home opener-record eight runs to send the Tampa Bay Rays to their fourth straight loss 11-4 Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

Gregorius started the scoring in the bottom of the second, as he doubled off Rays starter Chris Archer and scored on a base hit by Tyler Wade.

Tampa Bay tied the game in the top of the third, with Jesus Sucre singling off Jordan Montgomery to start the inning and Daniel Robertson drawing a walk.  Rob Refsnyder grounded into a fielder's choice, erasing Robertson, but Brandon Drury threw away a Matt Duffy grounder to allow Sucre to make it 1-1.

The tie did not last long, as after Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge singled, Gregorius blasted his first of his two homers of the day, taking an Archer fastball and dropping it into the first row in right for a 4-1 advantage.

The Rays would rally to tie the game in the sixth against Jonathan Holder and Tommy Kahnle, as the former allowed a one out double to C.J. Cron and singles from Wilson Ramos and Andeiny Hechavarria to make it a 4-2 game, while Denard Span's pinch-hit two-run double off the latter ended up tying the contest.

After Archer worked the first five innings, Austin Pruitt came on for a scoreless sixth, though he needed a great catch from Carlos Gomez (above) to do so.  However, his second inning of work went much more poorly.  Tyler Austin started with a double and Brett Gardner looked to bunt him to third.  However, when Duffy's throw went past Brad Miller and down the right field line, Austin scored what would be the eventual winning run.

Judge followed with a single and two batters later, Gregroius took a Pruitt (1-1) fastball up in the strike zone and sent it into the second deck in right for his second three-run homer of the day.

The right-hander also began the eighth by walking Wade and Austin each with one out before manager Kevin Cash turned to Sergio Romo.  Gardner's infield single off the reliever loaded the bases, and the right-hander walked Judge to load the bases, then following Stanton's fifth strikeout of the game, Gregorius looped a base hit to left to plate Austin and Gardner for his seventh and eighth runs batted in of the game.

The shortstop's 8 RBI established a new Yankees record for RBI in a home opener, and were the most by a Yankees player since Alex Rodriguez drove in 10 on April 26, 2005.

The loss is Tampa Bay's fourth straight since winning on Opening Day.

The Rays will look to salvage a split of the two-game series Wednesday, as Blake Snell (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes on (1-0, 0.00 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 12:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.

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