Sanchez makes the Rays pay for decision

by Gary Shelton on September 21, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Miller added a triple to an impressive season.

Miller added a triple to an impressive season.

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays thought about it, and they decided to pitch to rookie slugger Mark Sanchez with two on and two out in the seventh inning.

Well, oops.

Sanchez, a rookie, hit the first pitch for a three-run homer to lead the Yankees to a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay. The Rays fell to 35-41 at the Trop, clinching a losing record at home for the third straight season.

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Boxberger gave up winning home run to Yankees' Gary Sanchez.

Boxberger gave up winning home run to Yankees' Gary Sanchez.

The Rays had Brad Boxberger on the mound in the seventh with the score tied at 2-2 with runners on second and third. And although Sanchez had hit homers in two straight games, the Rays decided to pitch to him. It didn't work out.

“I know Gary Sanchez is having a tremendous year, but I would feel they’re going to go (Brain) McCann, who’s a very good hitter also,” explained Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “Had Boxy fallen behind, maybe you think about it a little bit more. But this is a guy that’s gotten a lot of big outs for us in the past and we trust him to get outs.”

New Ray Alexi Ramirez makes a play against Yankees.

New Ray Alexi Ramirez makes a play against Yankees.

Said Boxberger: “He said we have an opportunity either to face Sanchez or Butler. The matchup was better against Butler, but he left it up to me and I wanted Sanchez. So it didn’t work out today, but there’s always tomorrow. I liked the matchup, but it’s the competitor in me. If they wanted me to walk him 100 percent, they would’ve told me. They left it up to me and it didn’t work out this time. ... [Sanchez] did a good job. First-pitch slider against me is probably not in the scouting report too much. So to do what he did was pretty impressive.”

Sanchez now has 17 home runs in 44 games. Four of his home runs have come against the Rays.

The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the third on Brad Miller's triple. But Tampa Bay had only one hit afterward. For the night, the Rays struck out 16 batters.
Drew Smyly pitched well, but he was pulled after allowing only one run in six innings.

Alex Cobb pitches tonight against the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka.

New hitting coach Chad Mattola looks on.

New hitting coach Chad Mattola looks on.

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