Trent Grisham has big night with bat and glove in Yankees’ win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Aaron Boone’s twin lineup switches of Alex Verdugo to leadoff and phenom Ben Rice to cleanup amounted to nothing — a combined 0-for-8.

But the manager found all the runs the Yankees would need on Wednesday night in an unusual place, the 7-hole.

It was Trent Grisham who delivered both RBIs in the Yankees’ much-needed 2-1 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Trent Grisham, making a catch during the second inning, drove in the Yankees' only two runs in their 2-1 win over the Rays.
Trent Grisham, making a catch during the second inning, drove in the Yankees’ only two runs in their 2-1 win over the Rays. Getty Images

Grisham, who entered the game with a team-low .172 batting average, hit a deep fly down the left-field line in the second inning that Randy Arozarena couldn’t handle, the ball caroming off the low wall near the 315-foot sign.

Anthony Volpe scored all the way from first base for the first run of the game.

In the fourth inning, Grisham hit another fly to Arozarena, deep enough to score Gleyber Torres on a sacrifice fly.

“[They were] really kind of the same,” Grisham said of his two swings against Rays starter Zach Eflin. “Just trying to be ready early, be relaxed. He’s around the zone and doesn’t walk that many people.”

Grisham’s biggest contribution, however, came in the eighth inning when the lefty-fielding center fielder ranged far into the gap in right-center to run down a potential gapper by Yandy Diaz to preserve a 2-1 lead for Clay Holmes.

“I knew he hit it pretty well off the bat,” Boone said. “[It] looked like Grish … knew he got a good break on it like he normally does. So I wasn’t sure, but pretty shortly I felt like he had a bead on it.”

While there was angst in the dugout, the two-time Gold Glove winner in the National League with the Padres made the play look easy.

“Again just kind of the same thing, being relaxed and ready,” Grisham said. “He hit it a lot better than I thought so I had to adjust course and get to it.”

It was just the seventh win in the last 24 games for the Yankees, but the six-year veteran took umbrage with the suggestion that the victory was a “relief.”

“I don’t think it’s ‘relief,’ ” he said. “I mean, we’re trying to win more than one game. We come to the field every day expecting to win and ready to win, and that’s what we’re going to do [Thursday] and every game going forward.”

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