Travis d’Arnaud Delivers Walkoff Homer, Rays Defeat Yankees For Much Needed Victory

The Tampa Bay Rays were one strike away from victory in the top of the ninth until Aaron Hicks launched a homer to left off Colin Poche to tie the game at 3-3.

Chad Green retired Kevin Kiermaier on a groundout to first and then struck out Willy Adames for the second out. The Rays were just one out away from going to extra innings against the Yankees for the third consecutive day when Travis d’Arnaud hit a line drive to right that kept traveling to right center before clearing the wall giving Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory.

“It was big. It’s a deflating with what’s taken place.” Kevin Cash said. “If you take all that out and you just value the game that you’re playing, it’s not an overly big deal. But given what’s taken place here recently, that was probably a big sigh of relief for all of us.”

Colin Poche (2-1, 3.45 ERA) picks up the win for Tampa Bay who ends their three game losing streak and improves to 51-39 on the season.

The victory ends a six game losing streak to the Yankees and Tampa Bay improves to 5-4 on their 10-game homestand. It also guarantees them a winning record in their grueling 47 games in 48 days leading up to the All-Star break. They are currently 24-22 during that span. By defeating the Yankees, the Rays maintain their 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians for the top wild card spot.

d’Arnaud’s Walkoff:

Travis d’Arnaud’s homer represetns only the Rays second walkoff victory of the year joining Willy Adames who delivered a walkoff 11th inning single against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 29th.

It was the Rays first walkoff homer since Ji-Man Choi on September 10, 2018 against the Cleveland Indians and their first walkoff homer against the New York Yankees since June 24th of 2018 when Jake Bauers homered in the 12th inning.

It was d’Arnaud’s second walkoff hit of his career (also, single off Rayn Webb on Septemer 15, 2013 aginst Miami). It was his first walkoff homer of his career. He becomes the fourth Rays catcher to hit a walkoff homer in the regular season joining and first since Jose Lobaton on august 18, 2013 vs Toronto (10th inning).

Defeating New York Ain’t Easy:

Chad Green (2-3, 5.81 ERA) takes the loss for the Yankees who fall to 57-30 on the season. Despite the loss, New Yok is a Major League best 16-3 since June 15th, 34-14 since May 12, and 40-20 since April 19th.

Snell Solid Against Patient Yankees, Gardner Gets Him:

Blake Snell worked five innings allowing just one earned run on five hits sriking out five and walking two. He made 93 pitches with 62 for strikes.

Brett Gardner opened the scoring against Blake Snell in the top of the second belting a solo homer on a slider. It was his 13th homer on the season.

Gardner becomes just the fourth left handed batter to hit a homer against Snell in his career. He joins Michael Brantley, Ryan O’Hearn, and Joey Gallo who has hit a pair off Snell.

“It’s a tough lineup.” Snell said. “Threw a lot of strikes. Was happy with the fastball command. Upset with the two walks. Overall, happy with the way I battled. Happy with how much of a rhythm me and ]travis d’Arnaud] got into. Good team win. We played tough the whole time. That was very fun to watch and be a part of.”

Rays Answer Yankees:

The Rays came back to tie the game in the bottom of the second on a RBI single by Travis d’Arnaud to score Mike Brosseau from third. Brosseau drew a 1-out walk and moved to third on a Kevin Kiermaier single.

Yankees Threaten, Do Not Score:

The Yankees threatened Snell in the fourth inning when Aaron Hicks opened the frame with a double but was left stranded after Snell retired the next three Yankee batters.

New York loaded the bases in the fifth inning with 1-out but Snell was up to the task getting Aaron Judge to fly out to right and Aaron Hicks to ground out back to the mound.

Chaz Roe struck out the first two Yankees he faced in the sixth before walking Brett Gardner who stole second base to get into scoring position. Gardner was left stranded when Roe struck out Gleyber Torres.

Rays Unable To Take Advantage Of Their Own Opportunity:

The Rays had an opportunity to grab the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when they put runners on the corners with one-out. C.C. Sabathia was up to the task getting Mike Brosseau to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

Alvarado Dinged Up And Departs With Injury:

Jose Alvarado took over for Roe in the seventh inning. He was looking to rebound from a disastrous outing against the Baltimore Orioles in which he allowed six runs (five earned) on four hits while recording just two outs He allowed a leadoff single to Gio Urshela who advanced to second on a wild pitch and walked Mike Tauchman.

After Kyle Snyder visited Alavardo he got a 6-3 double play ball off the bat of DJ LeMahieu to bring Aaron Judge to the plate with a man at 3rd and two down. Alvarado walked Judge to bring up Aaron Hicks who lined an opposite field single to right to plate Urshela and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

Alvarado threw one pitch to Gary Sanchez which led to a visit from Kevin Cash and the trainer. Alvarado departed the game and was replaced by Jake Faria. Alvarado was removed with a strained oblique and could miss anywere from 2-6 weeks pending an MRI tomorrow.

Faria walked Gary Sanchez to load the bases. Encarnacion flew out to right to end the inning.

Rays Get Big Homer From Lowe:

Rays Lowe Homers Off Yankees Sabathia
Tampa Bay Rays’ Nate Lowe reacts to hitting a home run against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 6, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

Yankee Manager Aaron Boone allowed Sabathia to work the seventh inning and after retiring the first two batters he allowed a single to Travis d’Arnaud and a 2-run homer to Nate Lowe to put Tampa Bay ahead 3-2.

Sabathia finished the seventh inning allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two. He threw 89 pitches with 58 for strikes. The seven innnings marks his longest outing since June 29, 2018 against the Boston Red Sox.

Lowe had been hit by Sabathia early in the game and probably got some extra gratification from the homer. “Yeah, that was nice.” Lowe said. “I kind of figured he was going to go back tot he breaking ball there. With as good as his stuff is, he keeps it all down. He made a mistake and I got to it and it worked out for us.”

Rays Hold On….Almost:

Jake Faria stayed in the game in the eighth and walked Brett Gardner before turning the ball over to Oliver Drake who struck out Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela. Gardner got himself into scoring position by stealing second base but was left stranded as Drake got Mike Tauchman to groundout to first to end the threat.

Oliver Drake remained in the game to open the ninth and retired DJ LeMahieu on a ground out to second and Aaron Judge on a fly out to center. Colin Poche was called upon to face Aaron Hicks who the Rays chose to flip to the right side where he has just a .590 OPS against left handed pitcing (.818 OPS vs right handers) in 2019. Hicks didn’t follow the script and delivered a solo shot to left to tie the game at 3-3.

Stage Set, d’Arnaud Delivers:

Travis d’Arnaud delivered the final blow depositing his walkoff homer to the seats in right field giving the Rays a much needed win at a much needed time.

Up Next:

The Rays and Yankees finish their four game series and the first half on Sunday afternoon at 1:10. Charlie Morton (9-2, 2.36) will take the mound for Tampa Bay. The Yankees will counter with James Paxton (5-3, 4.09 ERA).

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I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.