NEW YORK – The game was tied, but CC Sabathia told his teammates that they could start packing their belongings; first place was about to be theirs.
"Turn off the lights" brought the New York Yankees 19-year-old veteran, as dugout in the home settled for a bat, they have become quite familiar with the latest.
However, get stuck. Before dissecting the pivotal three-tone sequence that served as the finale of Friday night's Yankees Rays opener, it is important to go back and look at the plays leading up to that moment – and allow the Bronx Bombers to change the American League East positions claiming the place on the division throne of "Game of Thrones" Night.
Friday's ninth, an inning of the Yankees entered 3-1
Enter the scene back, Luke Voit.  Have already swung a hot bat in the game, having previously chopped yet another multi-page night, the Yankees & # 39; burly suffered the first baseman from the bottom of the ninth by facing a flamethrower whose stuff has drawn its share of leaguewide respect.
"He's probably got some of the nastiest things in the big leagues," said Voit about Jose Alvarado, one of Tampa Bay's flame-throwing relievers. "I mean, it's 100-101, with some unpleasant laundry, and he has a shooter that's 92".
What was Voit's game plan to combat such power competition?
"His fastball has so much zinc, you almost have to see it inside because you know if it's in the middle, it's going to run from the plate," Voit said. "The same with his shooter. You almost have to see the mid-way kind of thing. He has good things."
"[But] You know in the end that he is going to make a mistake – he is human."
In fact, it was not very long for the error to come. At the first pitch he saw, Voit came a 99 mph sink right down the middle of the plate that he wasted no time getting his hands on. The launch of a 398-foot opposite field shot, Voit closed the two-round deficit to make it 3-2.
In the process he pumped new life into the Yankee Stadium.
After Voit rounded the bases and the lights subdued on his hometown, buggers Gary Sanchez appeared on the court, ready for his own blow with the fiery throw Alvarado.
He also wasted some time connecting the ninth inning antagonist and drove a well-truck line deep into the left field of a 1-1 counter.
Two battles later began the right fight.
With one on and one out In a game, his team, drawn by a race, tried the Yankee second baseman Gleyber Torres not to give in during a bat, where his manager is considered "probably his best bat of the year . "
Ten total seats. Five balls fouled off. Full number. Thousands of remaining screaming fans; diehards that stuck around after a 35 minute rain delay interrupted action in the eighth inning.
Throughout, Torres delivered and threw a double that jumped the left field wall to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
"It's a grind, set aside some places, destroy some hard seats and [then] finally get one he can handle and smoke," Boone said of Torres & # 39; bat.
It could have been the most crucial order of the night for the Yanks who entered the game, who drew the rays of a ½ game in the AL East players.
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As crucial as it could have been, but it was not the sequence that finally ended things. These seats came minutes later, and just seconds after Sabathia turned to his teammates and effectively told them to prepare to go home. He knew that, like many who have seen the Yanks near late, the rays of the dirty things were being beaten.
Sabathia knew it because he was too familiar with the young hero who dug in
Enter a step back, Gio Urshela.
Since his arrival in the Bronx on April 6, Urshela has been at the center of several coupling Yankees moments; many of them have come alone in the last two weeks.
On May 7, Urshela beat a game-binding ninth-inning homer in a dramatic victory over the Seattle Mariners. Two nights later he came through with a timely two-RBI single that gave the yankees the need for insurance. The next night in Tampa Bay he delivered a two-RBI single in the sixth inning that proved to be the winning blow to opening a heated series.
"Very fun for me who is the last inning" Urshela said about embracing another changing moment Friday.
By realizing how heroic Urshela has been in recent weeks, it is easy to understand why Sabathia and others were so confident that he would get the job into what became a bound game when a wild course brought a home on the first pitch of Urshela's bat.
"We know we're facing a tough customer in Alvarado there, but boys expect it," Boone said. "And guys have been so good in the competition department that I was not surprised that they would go down in the fighting."
Two fast balls from Alvarado and Urshela were in the driver's seat.
"When it was 2-0, I knew he was going to get something to hit. There is no doubt in my heart," Voit said. "The child has just been incredible, and every time there is a big situation, he just comes through."
He did it for sure. Coming out of his bats of 109.7 mph – the fourth ball of the inning hit 100 mph or harder – Urshela burst a liner deep into the right midfield. Although Ray's outfielder Kevin Kiermaier desperately hunted the air ball, he couldn't quite corral it.
The ball went over his head. Play over. The rays & a half and a half are at the top of the division.
Thanks to more late-inning magic from a player, few Yankees fans heard about a month ago, they were still bringing the Bronx Bombers now in the first place. They doused their new late-game star with Gatorade in the middle of the field before embarking on another fog machine party at the clubhouse.
"Love the way we compete day in and day out," Boone said. "We are at some point in the season where it is so long to go that you don't even get what is caught in the positions as much as everyone [else does] puts our best foot out every day. And they have consistently have been able to do it. They have consistently been able to cope with what has been thrown their way, and it is a team that comes in to win. "
Ending games in this dramatic way Maybe for those who look at home, it is safe to call the Yankees the best on TV these days.