Bauers’ extra-inning homer lets Rays sweep Yanks

by Gary Shelton on June 25, 2018 · 2 comments

in general

Jake Bauers homers for the win in the 12th inning./STEVEN MUNICE

Jake Bauers homers for the win in the 12th inning./STEVEN MUNICE

Monday, 4 a.m.

Jake Bauers celebrates his winning homer../STEVEN MUNICE

Jake Bauers celebrates his winning homer../STEVEN MUNICE

For a guy who just got here, Jake Bauers seems to have this home run celebration down pat.

Let's see. You round first by the time your 420-foot home run clears the right field fence. You pump your left fist. You throw your helmet into the air. You pump your fist again.

You glide around second and third. There, seeing your teammates in a semi-circle around home plate, you dance your way

The Rays' celebrate their sweep of the Yankees../STEVEN MUNICE

The Rays' celebrate Bauers' homer, sweep of the Yankees../STEVEN MUNICE

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Ryan Yarbrough finished with his second effort in two days../STEVEN MUNCIE

Ryan Yarbrough finished with his second effort in red games./STEVEN MUNCIE

home. The right leg in front. Then the left leg in front. You crouch over, and you are swallowed up by the crowd, and somewhere along the line (think Willy Adames) you lose your shirt.

This is as good as it gets for a kid first baseman. Bauers' 12th-inning homer enabled the Rays to outlast the Yankees, 7-6, and sweep their series.

Carlos Gómez tosses the ball to first./STEVEN MUNICE

Carlos Gómez tosses the ball to first./STEVEN MUNICE

“Unreal," Bauers said. "I still can’t catch my breath. I’m still breathing pretty heavy. That’s something you always dream of and not many people get the chance to do it. To do it today it’s a crazy feeling.”

Bauers was the first Ray to hit a walk-off home run before his 23rd birthday since Evan Longoria in 2008. He was the fourth all-time to accomplish the feat after Longoria, Delmon Young in 2007 and Carl Crawford (twice in 2003).

So how did the trot feel?

Jesus Sucre looks on after the Yankees took over the lead./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jesus Sucre looks on after the Yankees took over the lead./STEVEN MUNCIE

"Indescribable," Bauers said. "Everyone battled their butts off tonight so to come out on top of a game like that I think it’s only going to help us with that momentum going forward.”

Through 17 games, Bauers is hitting .254. He had a triple in addition to his homer on Sunday.

"He feels pretty comfortable at the plate, he shows a lot of confidence," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "His defense has been outstanding, but the at-bats have been what’s been eye catching. Even when he doesn’t get hits, he has really good at-bats. I think he went up there today, that last at-bat probably looking for one pitch, he got it and didn’t miss it. We needed that really bad and I’m glad that happened for Jake.”

José Alvarado celebrates after getting the 3rd out./STEVEN MUNICE

José Alvarado celebrates after getting the 3rd out./STEVEN MUNICE

The Rays and Yankees swapped leads throughout the day. Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead, but New York came back on a three-run homer by Miguel Andujar. Tampa Bay surged ahead 6-3, but the Yankees tied it at 6-6 in the eighth on a home run by Giancarlo Stanton.

Bauers' homer was the Rays' only hit since the third inning.

Still, the Rays' bullpen kept the game close with seven pitchers. The last one was Ryan Yarbrough, who pitched 3 1/3 innings on Friday. Yarbrough came in when Johnny Venters pulled a hamstring covering first.

It left Yarbrough with a 7-3 record.

“It helps that we had some pretty good communication," Yarbrough said. "When we were stretching before the game like we always do, coach Snyder

Kevin Kiermaier runs to third on his way to a triple./STEVEN MUNCIE

Kevin Kiermaier runs to third on his way to a triple./STEVEN MUNCIE

came by and said, ‘Hey, how are you feeling today? Obviously it’s pure emergency, but if we need you, could you possibly throw today?’ I said yeah, and it kind of helps that we had an off day because I wasn’t going to throw my bullpen until tomorrow. It was really good. Then obviously, it was dependent on how the game was going. So about the 5th or 6th inning,I went over and asked him. So I loosened up a bit, got some cleats on. I kind of had an idea so it wasn’t at the last second like, ‘Hey, we need you to go throw some cleats on.’”

Bauers, Carlos Gomez and Jesus Sucre all had two hits for Tampa Bay. Stanton had five hits for the Yankees, including his home run.

Mallex Smith had a hit for the Rays./STEVEN MUNICE

Mallex Smith had a hit for the Rays./STEVEN MUNICE

It was the fourth straight game the Rays have beaten the Yankees.

"The three here are pretty special," Cash said. " Talking about it earlier before the game with the road trip and the way the guys came back after the off day and how they responded, rising to the challenge. We’ve had really good crowds. The energy has been nice and we’ve played well. Today was kind of a slugfest, but I think we anticipated that coming in that there was going to be some hitting going on and some run scoring and there was. It was nice to finally outlast them. It was nice to do something that we’ve had happen at their ballpark way too many times in my four years and that’s get a walkoff.”

The Rays now host the Washington Nationals, starting with today's 7:10 game at the Trop. Blake Snell pitches for the Rays and Gio Gonzales for Washington.

Adeiny Hechavarria after scoring for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Adeiny Hechavarria after scoring for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS June 25, 2018 at 8:07 am

Every time the Rays meet the Yankees I think of David and Goliath! I guess Goliath looked little smaller this time.

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Gary Shelton June 25, 2018 at 9:09 pm

It was a great game Sunday. A great series, but Bauers makes you believe. The Yankees are still buying a pennant, but the Rays look promising.

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