By: Garrett Ballard
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 3-1 on Tuesday night. A first-inning home run and lights-out pitching propelled the Rays to their second straight win against the Yankees.
Rays’ offense strikes early
Nestor Cortes, one of the Yankees better pitchers, struggled early in the game. Yandy Diaz and Isaac Paredes hit back-to-back singles in the first inning, Cortes then got Harold Ramirez out before Randy Arozarena came up to bat. Arozarena hit a 389-foot home run to deep left field to put the Rays up 3-0.
That home run would be the only time Tampa Bay scored on Tuesday. Cortes pitched seven innings and only allowed one hit after the first inning, however it was not enough for the win. Cortes was the losing pitcher.
Rays’ pitching continues to dominate
Jeffrey Spring won the game on the mound for the Rays. He pitched five innings, gave up the only run the Yankees scored and surrendered just two hits. Pete Fairbanks, Brooks Raley and Sean Armstrong carried the team until the ninth inning. For the ninth, Jason Adam came in and struck out two batters to close the game out. Adam earned his third straight save.
Win streak coming in clutch
On Tuesday, the Orioles beat the Blue Jays for the second straight game, meaning the Rays, at worst, are in sole possession of the second wild card slot. Tampa Bay and Seattle are the two teams in the first two slots, while Toronto still occupies the third slot. With two series against the Jays coming up in September, the more distance Tampa Bay can create now is only beneficial.
The Rays and Yankees are set to play one more game this series, with the Rays looking to sweep. The game is starting at 7:05 P.M. Eastern time. The probable starter for Tampa Bay is Corey Kluber (7-7, 4.40 ERA), and Domingo German (1-2 4.18 ERA) for New York.