Voit hits first-in­ning HR as Yanks open with rout

The Buffalo News - - BASEBALL - Black­mon rf D.Mur­phy 1b Are­nado 3b Sto­ryss Dahl lf Des­mond cf McMa­hon 2b Ian­netta c Free­land p b-Tapia ph Oberg p 5 5 5 3 4 4 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 NEW YORK TIMES 0 0 1 1 3 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

NEW YORK – A sea­son of high ex­pec­ta­tions for the New York Yan­kees be­gan with a bang on Thurs­day. With a formula they ex­pect to ride this whole year, the Yan­kees, con­sid­ered among the 2019 World Se­ries fa­vorites, top­pled the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles, 7-2, be­hind power hit­ting and pitch­ing.

Luke Voit, the des­ig­nated hit­ter, smashed a three-run home run in the first in­ning that spear­headed a Yan­kees’ scor­ing out­burst. He drove in an­other run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth.

In all, Voit ac­counted for four runs with a blast and a bruise.

His con­tri­bu­tions were more than enough against the re­build­ing Ori­oles in front of a crowd of 46,928 at Yan­kee Sta­dium (though the rest of the of­fense chipped in through­out the game). Masahiro Tanaka, start­ing be­cause of a shoul­der in­jury to ace Luis Sev­erino, earned his first open­ing day vic­tory in four tries as a Yan­kee. He al­lowed two runs – only one earned – and struck out five bat­ters over 5∏ in­nings.

Tanaka’s stout per­for­mance paved the way for the on­slaught that is the Yan­kees’ new and im­proved bullpen. The new­comer Adam Ot­tavi­nos­truck out three bat­ters with his wicked arse­nal over 1∑ in­nings.

Rock­ies 6, Mar­lins 3

He was fol­lowed by Zack Brit­ton, who re-signed with the Yan­kees in the off­sea­son and worked around a walk and a hit for a score­less eighth in­ning. Closer Aroldis Chap­man and his high-90s mph fast­ball had lit­tle is­sue in the ninth, giv­ing up an in­field sin­gle be­fore re­tir­ing the next three bat­ters to end the game.

They could pitch with lit­tle anx­i­ety thanks to the Yan­kees’ po­tent lineup. Last sea­son, the Yan­kees set a ma­jor league record with 267 home runs. Dur­ing spring train­ing, they pre­dicted they would top their own mark this year.

With two home runs in the first game, the Yan­kees are on pace to do so. First base­man Greg Bird fol­lowed Voit with a shot to right-cen­ter field. The eighth-in­ning home run helped can­cel out a few boos for Bird, who had struck out in each of his first three at-bats.

But on Thurs­day, at least, it all started with Voit. A year ago on this date, he was still in spring train­ing, headed to the St. Louis Car­di­nals’ Class AAA team in Mem­phis. The Yan­kees, need­ing a first base­man be­cause of in­juries and un­der­per­for­mance, saw Voit as an un­der­val­ued player and ac­quired him in a mi­nor trade in July.

And in the first game of the sea­son, the Yan­kees trusted Voit with the power spot of the lineup, fourth, be­hind Aaron Judge and Gian­carlo Stan­ton.

New York Times

The Yan­kees’ Luke Voit hits a three-run homer in the first in­ning against the Ori­oles at Yan­kee Sta­dium on Thurs­day.

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