Rays End Losing Streak With Much Needed 11-5 Victory
The Tampa Bay Rays ended their four game losing streak by defeating the New York Yankees by a final score of 11-5. The 11 runs the Rays scored were more runs than they had scored in their previous six games and all 11 were scored with 2-outs in the inning. The win went to Jake McGee (1-0, 1.59 ERA) and the loss to Adam Warren (0-1, 3.38 ERA).
After trailing the Yankees by scores of 4-0 after two innings, 4-2 after four, 4-3 after six, and 5-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh the Rays rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to take a 6-5 lead over the Yankees. The key hit came with two outs with the bases loaded as James Loney brought home Ben Zobrist and Brandon Guyer.
The Rays inning included a pinch hit by Desmond Jennings to cut the Yankees lead to 5-4. In 2013 the Rays pinch hitters were very ineffective hitting just .213 (36 for 169). Already in 2014 the Rays are faring much better hitting .375 (6 for 16).
The Rays added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. With 2-out Ryan Hanigan broke his 0 for 18 skid with a double and Sean Rodriguez followed with a 2-run homer to left to put the Rays up 8-5. Sean Rodriguez’s last seven home runs have come against left handed pitchers. This was his first home run against a right handed pitcher since July 3, 2012 against the Yankees Ivan Nova. It was also his first home run in his career in a game that he did not start.
The Rodriguez home run was not a rally killer as Ben Zobrist drew a walk against former Rays Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Brandon Guyer followed with a single to score Zobrist and give the Rays a 9-5 lead.
It appeared as if he may have been letting off some steam as he drilled Evan Longoria in the thigh after Guyer’s RBI single. Then things got a little more contentious when Cabral hit James Loney to load the bases with two outs for Wil Myers. Myers sent a hard grounder toward third base which hit the bag and bounded into left field and the Rays lead was increased to 11-5.
Cabral followed the Myers hit by hitting Logan Forsythe leading to an ejection by home plate umpire Joe West. It wasn’t a pretty evening for Cabral who faced six batters allowing three runs on three hits, hitting three batters, and threw a wild pitch.
In 2013 the Rays left a lot of runs on the bases with 2-outs and the bases loaded hitting just .115 (7 for 61) and scored just 23 runs. After Loney’s and Myers two hits and four runs scored they are now 3 for 9 and have scored nine runs.
It wasn’t pretty early on for the Rays. Erik Bedard became the fifth Rays starter in as many days to not go more than five innings marking the longest stretch by a Rays pitching staff since September 8 through 14th, 2006 ( a span of six games). He went 3.2 innings allowing four earned runs on six hits striking out three and walking one.
The Yankees scored four runs off Bedard in the second inning on a bases clearing double that fell right out of the reach of center fielder David DeJesus and a fielders choice off the bat of Brett Gardner to score their fourth run.
He departed with the Rays trailing 4-o and the Yankees looking to break the game open. They had two out and two on and Derek Jeter at the plate. Brad Boxberger, who has made two scoreless relief appearances for the Rays, was called on and ended the rally by striking out on a 93 mph cutter.
Through the first three inning Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda had allowed a single in the second inning and a walk in the third but had faced the minimum thanks to a pair of double play balls wiping out both base runners.
As if the double play balls weren’t aggravating enough the fourth inning started off with another frustrating loud out as David DeJesus hoping to end an 0 for 15 skid sent a rocket out toward the alley in left center but Jacoby Ellsbury flagged it down and made a leaping catch.
The Rays were finally able to put some runs on the board via the two out rally which began with a walk to Matt Joyce. Evan Longoria followed with a single to push Joyce to second and then James Loney delivered both on a double that cut the Yankees lead to 4-2.
Wil Myers extended the inning on an infield single as Loney advanced to third but the rally ended when Kuroda got Logan Forsythe to ground out to third baseman Scott Sizemore.
Boxberger held the Yankees off the scoreboard working two innings striking out and walking a pair and departed with 2-out an nobody on base in the top of the sixth. He has now made three scoreless appearances for the Rays since being recalled to replace Jeff Beliveau on the 25-man roster on Monday.
Jake McGee came in an retired Ichiro Suzuki to end the inning and the Rays offense mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth putting Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria on first and second with one out. James Loney got ahead in the count 3-1 but chased ball four out of the strike zone before flying out to center for the second out but Wil Myers came through with his first RBI in ten games with a single to drive in Matt Joyce and cut the Yankees lead to 4-3 and end Kuroda’s night.
Kuroda worked 5.2 innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits two walks and two strikeouts. He made 99 pitches with 58 for strikes. David Phelps came in to face Logan Forsythe who flew out to right to end the inning.
Jake McGee stayed in to work the seventh for the Rays and retired Derek Jeter for the first out of the inning but Jacoby Ellsbury singled and stole second base to get into scoring position for Alfonso Soriano who singled up the middle to put the Yankees back up by a pair at 5-3. It was the first run Jake McGee had allowed in seven appearances this season.
David Phelps started the bottom of the seventh but after Yunel Escobar singled and went to second on a hard liner off the bat of Ryan Hanigan that struck Phelps he was taken out of the game for Matt Thornton to face David DeJesus. Sean Rodriguez came in to pinch hit and sent a ground ball to shortstop Derek Jeter who threw to third baseman Scott Sizemore to retire Escobar. Ben Zobrist extended the inning with an opposite field single as Sean Rodriguez moved to third base.
With runners at the corner and two out and lefty Matt Joyce due up Joe Maddon called on Desmond Jenning to pinch hit for Matt Joyce. Joe Girardi responded by going to his bullpen to bring in right hander Adam Warren. Jennings delivered an RBI pinch hit single to cut the Yankees lead to 6-5 and he was immediately pinch ran for by Brandon Guyer. Warren then walked Evan Longoria to load the bases for James Loney who delivered the go-ahead 2-RBI single.
The Rays added five runs in a crazy bottom of the eight inning that saw Cesar Cabral get ejected after hitting three Rays batters.