Kluber sharp as Rays close in on Yankees

by Gary Shelton on September 4, 2022

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

This just in. Corey Kluber can control time.

Kluber moved the clock back Friday night, for himself and for the shrinking New York Yankees.

For himself, he turned the clock back somewhere toward 2017, when he won the second of his two Cy Young awards. He was young again, dominating again. He went seven shutout innings against the Yankees, allowing just two hits.

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For the Yankees, he turned it back to May 11, back before all the praise and adulation dumped on the Yankees. That was the last date the Yankees' lead was as small as four games, which it is after the team lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

It continued either the Rays' greatest comeback or the Yankees' greatest collapse, or both. By the time Aaron Judge connected on his 52nd home run in the ninth inning, it seemed almost sad. It ended a streak of 21 straight innings in which New York had not scored.

“You marvel at what he’s done," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "He’s had a lot of success against a Yankees lineup. They know he played there last year. They know how he attacks guys. When he’s executing like that it’s really tough. Today I thought he was a click and half better on his fastball."

The Rays scored both of their runs in the third when Yandy Diaz singled in Francisco Mejia and Jose Siri, both of whom had singled. '

"He put this team on his back," said Jason Adam, who gave up the home run to Judge to earn his eighth save.

The Yankees have now lost six of seven games.

The Rays go for the sweep today at 1:40 p.m. at Tropicana Field. The Rays have not announced their starter. The Yankees will start Frankie Montas.

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