Rays Setup Chance For Series Split With Much Needed Win Over YankeesFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
Tampa, FL – The Tampa Bay Rays set up an opportunity for a series split and wining homestand by defeating the New York Yankees 3-1 on Saturday night in front of a sold-out Tropicana Field on Saturday afternoon.
J.P. Feyereisen earns the victory and improves to 4-0 on the year and still has not allowed an earned run this season. Colin Poche picks up his second save retiring the Yankees in order in the ninth. With the win the Rays end their two game losing streak and improve to 27-19 on the year.
Lucas Luetge (1-2, 5.84 ERA) takes the loss for the Yankees who see their four game win streak snapped and fall to 33-14 on the year but remain 5.5 games ahead of the second place Rays in the AL East.
Rays Fall Behind In First:
The Rays are 21-5 when scoring first this season, so when Anthony Rizzo delivered a sacrifice fly to score DJ LeMahieu in the first inning it was an ominous sign. Coming back against the Yankees would be even more difficult with Gerrit Cole taking the mound, Cole is having an outstanding season pitching to a 4-1 mark with a 3.31 ERA, but the Rays have had success against him. In 11 career starts versus Tampa Bay he entered the game with is just 1-6 with a 4.46 ERA (33ER/66.2IP) lifetime mark.
The Rays forced Cole to throw 26 pitches in the first but were only able to put one man on base via a leadoff walk by Yandy Diaz. Cole settled in and wouldn’t allow another baserunner until Francisco Mejia got the Rays first hit of the game with 2-out in the bottom of the fifth.
While Cole was dominating the Rays hitters, Corey Kluber was matching him frame by frame. Kluber allowed a pair of hits in the first inning and a Joey Gallo single in the third (he was erased on a double play ball) and struck the side in the fourth.
Kluber finished six strong innings allowing just the one earned run on three hits while striking out five and walking none. He threw 80 pitches with 54 for strikes including 10 swinging strikes.
J.P. Feyereisen replaced Kluber in the top of the seventh and retired the Yankees in order. It was his 19th appearance of the year and he has yet to allow an earned run (just one run) in his first 18 appearances.
The Rays finally got to Gerritt Cole in the bottom of the sixth inning taking advantage of back-to-back walks with 2-outs. Randy Arozarena delivered the game-tying RBI single to plate Ji-Man Choi to tie the game at 1-1.
Cole Solid, Extends Double-Digit K Mark At The Trop
Gerrit Cole worked six innings allowing one earned run on a pair of hits while striking out 10 and walking three. He threw 105 pitches with 63 for strikes. It marks his fifth consecutive start with double digit strikeouts at Tropicana Field. It’s the longest such streak by a visiting player. The longest streak of double digit strikeouts for any player is Tyler Glasnow‘s streak of six such games in 2021.
Rays Grab First Lead Of Series
The Rays grabbed their first lead of the series in the bottom of the seventh. Kevin Kiermaier singled off Lucas Luetge to lead off the inning and moved to third when Francisco Mejia’s soft fly ball fell behind first base for a double. Harold Ramirez, pinch hitting for Brett Phillips, sent a groundball to first that Anthony Rizzo threw home to nab Kiermaier for the first out. Luetge exited the game and was replaced by Michael King who got a groundball from Taylor Walls which nearly turned into an inning ending double play but Walls beat the throw to keep the inning alive. Yandy Diaz put the Rays ahead chopping a ball to third baseman DJ LeMahieu who was unable to get a throw off allowing Mejia to score from third putting Tampa Bay up 2-1.
Margot Delivers Insurance Run In 8th, Extends Batting Streak To 15:
Manuel Margot put the Rays up 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 1-out single scoring Wander Franco who led off the inning with a triple. The single for Margot extended his batting streak to 15 consecutive games with a hit. The Rays franchise record is 19 games set by Jason Bartlett in 2009. It’s the longest batting streak for Tampa Bay since Austin Meadows 16 straight games with a hit from September 1 through 18, 2019.
Rays Bullpen Shuts Down Yankees:
After J.P. Feyereisen delivered another scoreless frame in the seventh, Jason Adam worked the eighth inning allowing one hit and struckout a pair. He was replaced by Colin Poche who retired the Yankees in order to secure the win and pickup his second save of the year. The three pitchers combined to hold New York scoreless allowing one hit while striking out four and walking none.
Kittredge Nearing Return, Injury Updates
Andrew Kittredge is on target to return from the 15-day injury list when eligible on June 3rd. Luis Patino and Nick Anderson each threw bullpens Saturday under the watch of Kevin Cash. Shane Baz should be making his third rehab start with the Durham Bulls on Monday.
Up Next For Rays:
Tampa Bay and New York will wrap up their four game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:40 p.m. Tampa Bay will send Shane McClanahan (4-2, 2.06 ERA) to the mound. The Yankees counter with Luis Severino (3-0, 3.02 ERA).