Yankees continue dominance of Tampa Bay Rays

by Gary Shelton on July 19, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Charlie Morton struggled in the sixth./CHUCK MULLER

Friday, 3 a.m.

They were bombed in the Bronx.

For the fading Tampa Bay Rays, there is no other way to say it. The New York Yankees, once again, have flexed their muscles and disposed of the pesky Rays, this time sweeping a double header by scores of 6-2 and 5-1.

In 17 games this season against the Rays, the Yankees have scored five runs or more in nine of them. They now lead Tampa Bay by eight games in the AL East race.

The Rays had just five hits in each game.

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Lowe had three hits in the second game./CHUCK MULLER

Think of it. The Yankees have won eight out of 10 games in the Bronx this year, and one of the ones they didn't win was the three-run comeback led by Travis d'Arnaud.

In the nightcap Saturday night, the Yankees scored four runs in the sixth for their victory. Rays' ace Charlie Morton had been pitching well, but in the sixth, he gave up a leadoff double and two walks. He then balked in a run (catcher Mike Zunino tried to all time out) and gave up a two-run single to DiDi Gregorious.

 “I think Z tried to get up quick enough before Charlie altered anything," manager Kevin Cash said. "There was no argument on our end. We’re trying to change the signs. Charlie has been so good for us. Couple of walks there. You understand,  they’re really good hitters. (Austin) Romine gets it started off with a double. Then they kind of do what they do."

Morton wouldn't blame the balk, however.

"To me, that wasn't the big moment," Morton said. "The bases were loaded. How did they get there? The balk guys  just means guys advance. It was the walks and a 0-0 hit to lead off the inning. The balk was just part of the madness that was the sixth inning. It wouldn’t have mattered. That run scores anyway. "

Zunino said it was his fault.

"I wanted to call time," he said. "I wanted to save our situation a little. I was just a little too late doing that."

Morton had been 11-2 coming into the game.

After the Yankees took the lead, the Rays had only two more hits.

Cash lamented the first inning, when the Rays loaded the bases with no one out but didn't score. In the series, the Rays had only one hit in 24 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Hit were also tough to come by in the first game. The teams were tied 2-2 in the fifth, but the Yankees broke it open behind Gio Urshela, who had a homer and a double late among his three hits. Yonny Chrinos took the loss for the Rays.

Tampa Bay returns home tonight to play the White Sox at 7:05 at Tropicana Field. Brendan McKay will start for the Rays against Reynaldo Lopez.


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