Wil Myers and Ryan Hanigan homered twice apiece as the Rays beat the Yankees 16-1 behind an offensive outburst and solid pitching from Chris Archer Saturday night at Tropicana Field. Archer got the win while Ivan Nova, who gave up eight earned runs and left in the fifth inning with what was reported as elbow soreness, was charged with the loss.
Myers got the Rays' offense started early with a solo shot to left, his first homerun of the 2014, on a hanging curveball from Nova in the second inning.
Hanigan began his big offensive night in the third inning with a leadoff homer to left. Ben Zobrist hit a one out single to left and was brought home by a two out Evan Longoria homerun on another poorly located Nova curveball. The blast hit the C Ring in the outfield and was Longoria's 164th homerun as a Ray, giving him sole possession of first place in Rays' history.
The Rays struck again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Myers drew a leadoff walk and was driven in when Hanigan hit his second homerun of the evening to left making the score 6-0 Rays. The four homeruns given up by Nova were a career high for an outing.
Archer cruised through the first four innings of the game, facing the minimum while throwing just 50 pitches but was touched for a run in the top of the fifth. Kelly Johnson drove Alfonso Soriano home with a double to left center after Soriano had reached base via infield single.
The Rays had more than an answer to New York's lone run of the night.
Zobrist led the inning off with a single away from the Yankees' shift and moved to third on a Matt Joyce double to opposite field. Nova would depart during the following at bat after a 1-0 pitch to Longoria. Nova shook his right arm several times after throwing the pitch, prompting Yankee manager Joe Girardi to replace Nova. The injury was later revealed to be elbow soreness with more tests to take place. Matt Daley, who replaced Cesar Cabral on the Yankees' roster after last night's fiasco, came on to replace Nova. Longoria would score Zobrist on sacrifice fly once play resumed. The Yankees then elected to intentionally walk James Loney to bring up Myers, who promptly hit a homerun on a fastball, scoring three more runs and pushing the score to 10-1 in favor of the Rays.
The bottom of the sixth proved to be another big inning for the Rays, who scored four more runs. Longoria scored Zobrist with a single, giving Longoria eight consecutive multi-hit games against the Yankees. Loney followed up Longoria's single with a double to right, scoring Joyce and moving Longoria to third, making the score 12-1. The Yankees replaced Daley with Dellin Betances who struck out Myers for the second out of the inning. The Yankees missed an opportunity to end the inning with an error on Yangervis Solarte that allowed Longoria to score. Betances then walked Escobar and Hanigan, scoring Loney, to make the score 14-1.
CJ Riefenhauser, the Rays' 20th round draft pick in 2010, made his major league debut in the top of the seventh inning in relief of Archer. CJ impressed, needing only 12 (10 strikes) pitches to get four outs without allowing a baserunner.
The Rays added two more runs on a Hanigan single in the bottom of the eighth with Yankee shortstop Dean Anna on the mound. Anna threw a fastball that reached 72 mph on the radar gun with an almost knuckleball grip.
Josh Lueke finished the game for the Rays, striking out two in the top of the ninth.
-A fan was escorted out in the bottom of the sixth inning for trying to grab a Ben Zobrist double. He made contact with the ball with his hat. This comes one day after a fan was escorted out after falling onto the field over the low wall on the third base side.
-Evan Longoria now has 26 career homeruns against the Yankees.
-Since I wrote about Wil Myers's struggles to begin the season before yesterday's game he has gone 6 for 9 with 9 RBI and 2 HRs.
-Wil Myers and Ryan Hanigan each have three career multihomer games. Hanigan has three homeruns in 14 games so far this season after finishing with one homerun in 75 games last season with the Cincinnati Reds.
-With this offensive outburst, the Rays' pythagorean record went from 7-10 to 10-8.