Perez delivers again; Rays defeat Yankees

by Gary Shelton on August 10, 2020

in general

Michael Perez had another big game./STEVEN MUNCIE

Monday, 4 a.m.

Here's a thought: Maybe Michael Perez should celebrate a birthday every weekend.

Maybe he should always have cake at his locker, and little party hats. He could have three, maybe four birthdays a week.

And the, the Tampa Bay Rays might really have a good time.

Perez, who turned 28 on Friday night, had his second big game in three days. A .125 hitter, he knocked in Brandon Lowe with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, providing the Ray with a 4-3 comeback victory over the Yankees. It was the Rays' third win in four games against New York.

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Perez had won Friday night's game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for the only run in a 1-0 win.

"Just like the other day, I wasn't trying to do too much," Perez said through a translator. "I knew he had a good sinker. I've never had that many opportunities to help my team."

The Rays had staggered through most of the game, getting only one hit off James Paxton through six innings. They had lost starter Charlie Morton with shoulder inflammation, and they trailed 3-0 after centerfielder Manuel Margot dropped a fly ball to center.

But in the seventh, the Rays charged back. Back-to-back, Michael Brousseau hit a two-run homer and Brandon Lowe a solo shot off of Paxton -- who threw 87 pitches on the day.

That set up the ninth, and Perez' heroics.

"You’re not going to find a tougher matchup," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Left on left.It was a really impressive bat by Mikey. A good birthday weekend for him."

Earlier, things didn't look promising for the Rays, who lost Charlie Morton with no one out in the third.

"I think he’s doing okay," Cash said. "We’re going to get some doctors to look at it. We knew something didn’t feel right and didn’t think it was smart to try to continue and push through it. We need Charlie Morton to be really good for us the rest of the way for us. If we have to shave off a start, I think we made the right decision."

Morton didn't seem alarmed.

"We’re going to see how it feels in the next 24 hours," Morton said. "On a severity scale, I’m not worried about it. I’m not worried about missing a bunch of time."

The Rays travel to Boston today to face the Red Sox in a 7:30 p.m. game at Fenway Park. The Rays will start Ryan Yarbrough. The Sox have not announced their starter.

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