Batso Rizzo leads Yankees to sweep over Rays

by Gary Shelton on June 17, 2022

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

The bats are feeble. The gloves are useless. The base running is wobbly.

But if you want a real indicator of how bad things are going for the Tampa Bay Rays, try this:

They are now closer to last place than they are to first in the American League East Division.

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The slumping Rays fell again Thursday night, losing a 2-1 decision when Anthony Rizzo homered in the bottom of the ninth. It meant a sweep for New York, and five losses in thei Rays’ last six games. The Rays are 6-7 in their last 13, even though they have held opponents to three runs or fewer in 10 of them.

This time, the Rays managed just three hits against a patched-together pitching performance by the Yankees. In their three losses, the Rays have averaged less than six hits per game.

“It was really good pitching," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "You come into bullpen days, you know it’s going to be tough. It’s tough for guys to get in a rhythm. You saw it on both sides.

"Look, we’re frustrated there’s no doubt, losing three ballgames here.  Especially with the way we pitched. We really threw the ball well.  We’re going to get out of this (offensive slump). We'd like it sooner than later. We’ve just got to find a way to kind of stay together through these tough times. We can’t deny it. We’re in a tough stretch right now."

The Rays took a 1-0 lead on a home run by Francisco Mejia, but Rizzo erased that. Rizzo drove in a single run in the fifth off of Ryan Thompson (who had walked two batters to get into trouble). He then homered in the ninth off Shawn Armstrong.

"It (his frustration) was 100 percent the walks," Thompson said. "That’s something that makes me valuable. It’s something that gave me m chance at big leagues at the beginning. It's unacceptable for me."

The Yankees have now won 14 in a row at home, and lead the Rays by a dozen games.

The Rays -- with Brandon Lowe, Wander Franco, Kevin Kiermaier, Mike Zunino, Drew Rasmussen, J.P. Feyereisen and Andrew Kittredge among those on the injured list -- now move to Baltimore.

The game begins at 6:05 at Camden Yards. Shane Baz will start for the Rays against Dean Kremer.

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