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Game 33: Randy Land, Tension, and Everything In Between

This game had everything. Let’s do this 12 more times, eh?

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

You could cut the tension with a knife from pitch one of tonight’s contest between the Yankees and Rays.

With it being Friday night, Tampa Bay donned their Devil Rays throwbacks, and tonight was the first official rendition of Randy Land, with section 141 serving as the cheering section for left fielder Randy Arozarena for Friday night home games.

If “El Cohete Cubano” (the Cuban Rocket in Spanish) homers, all of Randy Land receives a free beer, water, or soft drink of their choice. And, boy, did Arozarena deliver.

On a 2-1 sinker from Jhony Brito, Arozarena blasted a solo shot into the Ray Tank in right center field in the bottom of the first to get the party started. 1-0 Rays.

Yandy Diaz would soon after join the fun, as he hit a solo shot of his own to dead center to bring the lead to two.

As those who have followed Rays-Yankees games since 2018, nothing between these two clubs comes without drama. That definitely didn’t come to a halt Friday evening.

In the two at-bats for Arozarena that followed his solo homer in the first, he was plunked. After the second consecutive offering that Arozarena was hit by a pitch, benches were warned. Kevin Cash took exception to the umpiring crew coming together and deciding to warn both benches, even while the Rays had not hit any batters in the game. He would go on to argue the ruling, and was later ejected from tonight’s contest.

After the game, Cash gave insight on how crew chief Lance Barksdale and his crew came to the decision to warn both benches.

“He (crew chief Lance Barksdale) said that half the crew did not feel that it was intentional,” said Cash. “And I said, I didn’t give a shit what half the crew said.”

Nonetheless, Harrison Bader blasted a three run home run to knot the score at four apiece with two outs in the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the seventh, Wander Franco struck a go-ahead RBI double that plated Yandy Diaz to break the tie, and Kevin Kelly, Colin Poche, and Jason Adam would combine to hold the Bronx Bombers to four runs and get the Rays to their league-leading 27th win, and 18th win at home to bring their home record to 18-2.

The Yankees and Rays go at it again tomorrow at 4:10 PM, with Domingo German taking the ball for New York, and Drew Rasmussen toeing the slab for Tampa Bay.