THE Tampa Bay Stingrays had three of their quietest nights at the plate against the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week
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THE Rays ignored him and went back to producing big hits at the plate in Game 1 of the series against the New York Yankees. They will now look to enjoy another successful display on Friday night when the American League East foes continue a four-game series.
Division-leading Tampa Bay went 1 for 20 with runners in scoring position while dropping two of three to the Orioles, just the Rays‘ third series loss of the season. After being shut out for the first four innings on Thursday, the Rays sailed to an 8-2 rout for their third victory in four meetings with the Yankees This year
“It’s part of the game, it happens,” Tampa Bay right fielder Josh Lowe said. “We met a really hot Baltimore pitching team there and they were doing their job, but we know the guys we have in that clubhouse and everyone, we go out there and have nights like ( THURSDAY).”
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THE Rays had eight of their 11 hits against the New York relievers, highlighted by a big night from Lowe. He scored the first run of the game on Yandy Diaz’s brace in the fifth, then hit a punting double in the sixth and a two-run homer in the eighth to record a career-best five RBIs.
“Whether the Yankees or anyone else in the AL East, it doesn’t matter,” Lowe said of nine games on the Yankees. “We try to win as many football games as possible to separate ourselves from everyone else. So we’re going to do what we can to go out there and win a lot of football games.
THE Rays may be forced to pursue their next win without star shortstop Wander Franco, who is day-to-day with neck strain. Franco had two hits on Thursday before going out in the fifth inning
Gleyber Torres hit a two-run brace in ninth, but last place Yankees were held to two points or less for the 14th time. The tough night at the plate came after scoring 28 runs in a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit three times Thursday in his third game against a strained right hip
“We need to come up with a better game plan in the box and execute it,” Judge said.
THE Yankees hope they can produce better results at the plate to support right-hander Gerrit Cole, who is coming off his worst outing this season
Cole (5-0, 2.09 ERA) saw his ERA jump 1.35 on Sunday when he allowed season-highs of six runs, five earned runs and eight hits in a five-inning season. against Tampa Bay.
Cole also served his first two homers of the season when Jose Siri hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and Christian Bethancourt hit a three-run shot in the sixth – hits that helped the Rays finally getting an 8-7 win on a single from Isaac Paredes in the 10th
“It’s awful,” Cole said Sunday. “I have to find a way to do a better job of getting us out of there and going a little deeper and preventing the races.
Cole is 2-7 with a 3.80 ERA in 16 career starts against the Rayswho hit 12 homers in 97 innings against him to counter their .218 batting average and .645 OPS in their meetings with him
Tampa Bay will use a game opener, with right-hander Trevor Kelley (0-1, 9.00 ERA) expected to start. The loose reliever could be Josh Fleming (0-0, 4.55 ERA), who allowed six runs in five innings against the Yankees on Sunday