Another Rays’ error, another Rays’ defeat

by Gary Shelton on June 16, 2022

in general

Thursday, 3 a.m.

As the New York Yankees disappear in the distance, seemingly uncatchable, the Tampa Bay Rays are left with this thought.

At least the Rays should make the Yankees earn it.

Once again, the Yankees rode unearned runs and strong pitching to beat the Rays. This time, it was 4-3, and three of New York's runs were unearned. That gives the Yankees five unearned runs in the last two games against a usually strong defensive team in the Rays.

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In the fourth inning, the Rays gave up three unearned runs after center fielder Brett Phillips -- in the game because starting centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier had leg problems -- dropped a ball by Josh Donaldson.

Later in the inning, the Rays had starting pitcher Shane McClanahan intentionally walk Isiah Kiner-Falefa with a 3-1 count. No. 9 hitter Kyle Higashioka then hit a three-run homer.

McClanahlan gave up only three hits in his six innings, but two of them were home runs. (Aaron Judge hit the first one).

"It was odd," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Phillips' drop, the team's third in three games.

The Rays finished with seven hits, but managed just three off of Cortes. Yandy Diaz and Manuel Margot each had a pair of doubles.

"It was well-pitched," Cash said. "We were confident we were going to get a good pitching matchup. Cortes and McClanahan both had really good stuff. They tagged us for a home run there. It was tough to overcome."

Kiermaier wasn't sure how long he night be out.

"I felt like I was flirting with disaster out there," Kiermaier said.

The Rays try to avoid being swept in tonight's game against the Yankees at 7:10 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. Jalen Beeks will start for the Rays against Luis Severino.

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