Behind a stellar, three-hit pitching effort from Johnny Wholestaff, along with just enough offense, the Rays completed a sweep of the Yankees in New York, winning 4-2.
The lineup felt a little light today, especially at the bottom, as they squared off against Yankee ace Gerrit Cole.
(Note - the bottom of the order would do just fine, thankyouverymuch.)
On the hill, the Rays, turned back to clock till 2018 as Andrew Kittredge opened for Ryan Yarbrough against a struggling but always dangerous Yankee lineup.
Kitt worked one and two-thirds, and looked very sharp. He struck out three and walked nobody while giving up just one hit.
The only problem was, that one hit was a Stanton non-cheap homer over the right field wall.
The Rays took the lead in the top of the third. Singles from the bottom of the order by Zunino and Kiermaier put runners on first and second for Diaz. Yandy did his job, grounding a single to center that scored Zunino. In addition, a bobble by Hicks allowed KK to advance to third, which would be important later.
A questionable strikeout by Meadows followed, before Margot hit a deep sac fly to left, scoring KK.
Yarbs navigated his way through the rest of the early innings, working some deep counts but keeping the Yankees off the bases. That came to an end in the fifth.
Gio Urshela led off the inning with a double. After a couple grounders kept the man at second, a walk to Higashioka and a soft single to right from LeMahieu tied the score. Yarbrough did bounce back against Judge, striking him out on a 3-2 change to end the inning.
With Cole still out there in the seventh, Joey Wendle lined a one out single to center. Up next was auto out — hm? What’s that you say?
3-2 Rays! We never doubted you, Yoshi!
Ryan Yarbrough worked two outs into the seventh. In his five innings of work, he gave up a run on two hits, striking out four and walking two. He also hit a batter.
Yarbs gave way to Diego Castillo to get the final out in the seventh. Castillo had trouble finding the zone, as he walked the no. 9 hitter, Higashioka. But after falling behind again to LeMahieu, Castillo retired him on a scary fly to right.
Castillo looked like he was settled in as he stayed on to face the heart of the order in the bottom of the eighth. Diego sat them down in order, including Ks of Judge and Stanton.
With Darren O’Day on to pitch the ninth, the Rays got some insurance when Joseph Patrick Wendle, the Big Bopper, big flied a non-cheapy out to right.
Jeffrey Springs got the call to close it out and set down the side in order, earning his first big league save.
The win sent the Rays back .500 and dropped the Yankees further into last place with a 5-10 record. Next up, the boy in blue travel to Kansas City to play the Royals tomorrow at 8:10 PM.