Wander Franco stars in return from injury against the Yankees, Cron hits longest homer of the season

By Sports Desk September 10, 2022

The Tampa Bay Rays welcomed back star shortstop Wander Franco to the lineup after a two-month injury absence, and he returned in style with three hits in a 4-2 road win against the New York Yankees on Friday.

Franco, 21, was rewarded for his stellar rookie season with an 11-year, $182million contract extension, but his second year has been derailed by a fracture in his wrist before finally getting the all-clear Friday morning.

Batting second in the Rays' lineup, Franco hit a double in his first at-bat, and after a pop-out in the second inning, he stepped back to the plate in the fourth frame and doubled again. A single in the sixth inning would complete a three-for-five day at the plate, with two runs scored and two RBIs.

Also going three-for-five at the plate with two doubles and two RBIs was Franco's teammate Randy Arozarena, with the duo combining to drive in all of the Rays' runs.

They had some breathing room early thanks to an excellent start on the mound by Drew Rasmussen, who held the Yankees scoreless through the first six innings, finishing with 10 strikeouts while only allowing six hits and no walks.

An Aaron Judge single in the seventh frame, after Rasmussen had been pulled, gave the Yankees their first run of the contest, with a Kyle Higashioka home run in the ninth proving to be a consolation.

For Judge, the AL MVP favourite, the RBI was his 119th of the season, which is 10 more than any other player. He also has 19 more home runs than any other player (55) and 36 more total bases than any other player (339).

With the win, the Rays have cut the Yankees' lead in the AL East to three-and-a-half games, and they will play twice more over the weekend.

Bo Bichette's bat stays hot

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette is in the midst of one his best ever hot streaks with the bat, hitting his fifth home run from his past four games in his side's 4-3 win against the Texas Rangers.

Bichette, 24, had three home runs on Monday against the Baltimore Orioles, and followed it up with a home run the very next day in a game where he went four-for-five at the plate. 

Against the Rangers, Bichette opened the scoring with an RBI ground ball in the first inning, and in his next at-bat, he took advantage of star teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr getting on base and knocked a ball 385 feet over the right-field wall.

Bichette now has five home runs from his past 18 at-bats, after totaling 18 homers from his first 536 at-bats his season.

Cron launches the season's longest home run

C.J. Cron hit a ball he will never forget as his Colorado Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 13-10 in a high-scoring shootout.

In a game with eight home runs – with six of them traveling at least 418 feet in the altitude-assisted Coors Field – one stood above the rest as Cron connected on a 504-foot nuke to left-field. 

It is the longest home run this season, and ties him for the 10th-longest home run ever recorded.

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