If the Tampa Bay Rays make the playoffs this season, Monday’s late-inning, come from behind victory will be a ballgame that will be looked back upon with great reverie. Travis d’Arnaud hit three big home runs — tying a franchise record originally set by Evan Longoria — in the Bronx, the last of which gave Tampa Bay the go-ahead lead with two outs in the ninth. The Rays snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, beating the first-place Yankees, 5-4.
Blake Snell got the start and allowed one run on three hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out four. Snell threw an inefficient 93 pitches (56 strikes, 60% strike rate) and did not have a clean inning in his first three frames, yet his only real mistake resulted in an Edwin Encarnacion solo shot in the fourth inning. Snell exited the contest in line for his sixth win of the season. The southpaw lowered his ERA by 15 points to 4.55 and has managed a 3.82 K/BB across 95 innings on the season.
Meanwhile, d’Arnaud gave the Rays a first-inning lead when he hit a solo homer to right on a 3-2 pitch off starter James Paxton to start the game.
d’Arnaud hit another solo shot in the third inning on a 1-0 pitch for a two-run lead.
The backstop now has two multi-home run games with Tampa Bay, and eight homers on the season, three of which have come against New York.
Yet for the second consecutive game against Paxton, the Rays were unable to tack on any runs in spite of numerous opportunities.
In the fourth inning, Avisail Garcia hit a one-out infield hit but was thrown out trying to go first to third on Kevin Kiermaier’s single to right. Then in the fifth inning, Willy Adames singled to left and swiped second, although he was picked off second when Joey Wendle squared around to bunt.
An inning later, Garcia walked after an infield single by Yandy Diaz. However, Kiermaier struck out and Guillermo Heredia hit a soft liner to short, ending the threat. The Rays ultimately went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Yankee starters have posted a 2.49 ERA (22 earned runs across 79-2/3 IP) against Tampa Bay this season.
Down by a run in the seventh, New York tied the game on a two-out, 0-2 homer by Gio Urshela off Emilio Pagan. Pagan followed by allowing a walk and a hit before he struck out Aaron Judge on a high, 96 mph fastball to keep the game knotted up at two apiece.
Andrew Kittredge followed Pagan in the eighth inning and struck out Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez. However, Aaron Hicks singled to right before Edwin Encarnacion worked a nine-pitch at-bat, consequently resulting in a two-run homer to left, giving the Yankees a 4-2 lead.
Down by a pair in the ninth, Kiermaier and Heredia singled to start the frame against All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman. However, Adames and Wendle struck out giving the Rays one last shot. With two on and two out, d’Arnaud worked an eight-pitch at-bat before homered into the short porch in right on a hanging slider.
Kittredge, who put the Rays behind in the eighth, got the first two outs in the bottom of the ninth before he walked Aaron Judge to extend the frame. At 38 pitches (29 strikes, 76% strike rate), Kittredge was lifted in favor of The Drake. Voit worked a full count before he struck out looking to end the game.
It was Tampa Bay’s first win this season when trailing after eight innings (1-32), and New York’s first loss when leading after eight (49-1). After winning just one ballgame against the Yankees all season, Tampa Bay has won the last three meetings against New York.
Ryne Stanek (0-2, 3.14 ERA) will open for the Rays and will be followed by left-hander Jalen Beeks (5-0, 2.79 ERA), who will be recalled before the game. They’ll be opposed by C.C. Sabathia (5-4, 4.03 ERA).
In 26 opens this season, Ryne Stanek has a 1.98 ERA and has struck out 46 across 41 innings. The Rays are 17-9 in games started by Stanek this season. The right-hander threw two perfect frames on Sunday, although he gave up four runs in one inning the last time he faced the Yankees.
Jalen Beeks was initially optioned to Triple-A Durham at the end of June, but he’ll return to the big league roster for the second game of the series. Beeks has managed a 2.79 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP across 61-1/3 innings this season, with 51 punchouts. Beeks was stretched out to 80 pitches at Triple-A.
C.C. Sabathia allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts across seven innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay on Saturday. Even though he didn’t capture his third consecutive win, Sabathia did post his third straight quality start. He’s pitched fairly well since the beginning of June, although a couple of bad outings have bloated his ERA to 4.67 in his last six starts. He now is 18-16 with a 3.59 ERA in 52 career starts against the Rays. Key Matchups: Micheal Brosseau (1-2, BB), Travis d’Arnaud (5-15, RBI, 2 BB), Kevin Kiermaier (6-19, 2 HR, 2 RBI), Nate Lowe (1-2, HR, 2 RBI), Tommy Pham (4-13, RBI, BB), Joey Wendle (1-2)
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 7/16/19 Starting Lineup
- d’Arnaud 1B
- Pham DH
- Brosseau 2B
- Diaz 3B
- Garcia RF
- Meadows LF
- Adames SS
- Kiermaier CF
- Zunino C
— In order to make room for Beeks on the 25-man roster, the Rays optioned outfielder Guillermo Heredia.
— Tyler Glasnow, who has been on the shelf with a flexor strain since the beginning of May, will not be allowed to begin his throwing program for at least two weeks after his latest MRI, which came back clean.
The Rays are taking a cautious approach with Glasnow, who is an important piece in the long-term puzzle
Rays manager Kevin Cash announced Monday that the right-hander may not make it back this season, which could intensify the team’s efforts to acquire pitching before the July 31 trade deadline.
— Anthony Bemboom, who the Rays activated from the IL then designated for assignment Monday afternoon, has been acquired by the Los Angeles Angels for cash considerations. The move frees up a spot on the 40-man roster ahead of the pending activation of Matt Duffy from the IL.