Tyler Glasnow put together his best start of the season, while an eighth-inning rally gave the Tampa Bay Rays all the runs they would need on Wednesday, as the good guys beat the Yankees 4-2 in New York. The Rays are now 8-1 on their 10-game road trip after taking the first two games versus the Yankees, against whom they have won five-out-of-six games this season.
Glasnow got the start and tossed 5-2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks while punching out eight. Down by a pair in the third, New York answered when Luke Voit hit a two-out solo home run into the second deck in right in the third inning. Then in the sixth, Aaron Hicks lined a 1-0 pitch down the right-field line for a triple to lead off the sixth before Voit drew a free pass on a full count curveball. With runners on the corners, Gio Urshela hit a sacrifice fly to right, tying the game at two. Yet Glasnow struck out Mike Ford for the second out of the inning before he gave way to Ryan Thompson. All told, Glasnow threw 51 of 88 pitches for strikes (58% strike rate) while coaxing nine swinging strikes (18% whiff rate). While his strike and whiff rates weren’t eye-popping, the results speak for themselves.
Backing up a bit, the Rays took the initial lead after Ji-Man Choi homered off Gerrit Cole to right with one out in the second. The long ball, ironically, came on the same day that Choi said he was going to focus on hitting only from the left side because it would benefit the team.
An inning later, Mike Zunino launched his third home run of the season, a blast to straightaway center for a two-run lead. Prior to Wednesday, Cole had not relinquished multiple home runs in one game in just over a year (8/7/19 against Cleveland).
New York’s ace allowed five more base runners, yet none past second. He threw 109 pitches (78 for strikes, 72% strike rate) and surrendered six hits and a walk while fanning 10. He left the game with two outs and a runner on in the seventh, yet the sinker throwing left-hander, Zack Britton, got Austin Meadows to strike out swinging to end the inning.
But with the game tied in the eighth, Yandy Diaz led off the go-ahead rally against Britton by hitting a grounder just wide of first. Voit fielded the ball and threw it to Britton, yet it glanced off the hurler’s glove which allowed Diaz to end up at second on the error by the pitcher. Britton wild-pitched Diaz to third before Brandon Lowe walked. With two on and none out, Jose Martinez chopped a ball to third that Gio Urshela fielded before he threw home to cut Diaz down at the plate.
Still, the Rays would be undeterred. Pinch hitter Mike Brosseau stepped into the box and worked a 2-0 count before he lined a 96 mph center-cut fastball into center, putting the Rays ahead by a run. Then Willy Adames worked a 3-0 count before he lined an RBI single into right, scoring Martinez — Chasing Britton, and capping the scoring.
That put Pete Fairbanks — who struck out Aaron Hicks to end the seventh — on the winning side of the ledger.
After Nick Anderson notched a perfect eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts, Chaz Roe took over in the ninth and promptly walked the first two batters of the frame, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres. Still, he got Brett Gardner to fly-out to center before Kevin Cash had seen enough and pulled the plug on the frisbee throwing right-hander.
Jalen Beeks took over for Roe and struck out Miguel Andujar (who pinch-hit for Mike Tauchman). Be that as it may, Beeks made things interesting when he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed both runners to move into scoring position. But, Beeks punched out Thairo Estrada for the save.
The New What Next
The Rays will go for a sweep Thursday afternoon behind Trevor Richards (0-0, 5.92 ERA), who will either start or pitch out of the bulk role. He’ll be opposed by James Paxton (1-1, 7.04 ERA).
Trevor Richards allowed three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three across 4-1/3 innings on Friday against the Blue Jays. Richards made a spot start in lieu of Charlie Morton who is on the Injured List. But the right-hander struggled in his outing. Richards is 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two outings (one start) and 9-1/3 innings against the Yankees.
James Paxton allowed three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two across five innings on Friday. Far from dominant, Paxton needed 83 pitches to make it through five frames and yielded three runs. The left-hander has allowed exactly three earned runs in each of his four starts this season, though he lasted a combined four innings in his first two outings as opposed to the 11-1/3 combined innings he has pitched in his last two outings. Paxton was fantastic against Tampa Bay for most of his start on August 9, however, the Rays dinged him up toward the end of his outing, tagging him for three runs on four hits including two home runs. Overall, Paxton is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in six starts against the Rays. Key Matchups: Yandy Diaz (4-9, 2B), Kevin Kiermaier (2-5).
You can read about the series in our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.
Rays 8/20/20 Starting Lineup
- Brosseau 1B
- Meadows LF
- Diaz 3B
- Martinez DH
- Renfroe RF
- Adames SS
- Margot CF
- Wendle 2B
- Zunino C
— Another day, another pitching injury. 35-minutes before Wednesday’s contest, the Rays placed right-hander Yonny Chirinos on the Injured List with a strained right elbow. They recalled right-hander Aaron Slegers from its taxi squad to take his place on the active roster.
In the words of Connor Byrne (MLB Trade Rumors),
It’s always troubling when a pitcher goes down with an arm injury, especially considering Chirinos just came from an IL stint by a triceps issue. Chirinos spent the minimum amount of time on the shelf then, but it’s unclear how long he’ll need to return from this injury.Connor Byrne
— The Yankees vs. Tampa Bay this season: 1-5, .207 BA/.314 OBP/.358 SLG/.672 OPS/3.2 RPG.
The Yankees vs. everyone else this season: 15-3, .269 BA/.356 OBP/.511 SLG/.867 OPS/6.2 RPG