Paredes’ 3 homers leads Rays over Yankees

by Gary Shelton on June 22, 2022

in general

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Perhaps you measure a home run by its distance. Perhaps you measure by its moment. Perhaps you measure it by its impact.

For Isaac Paredes, there was plenty of room -- and plenty of homers ---- to dissect in Wednesday night's 5-4 Rays victory over the New York Yankees.

Paredes hit more than 1,000 feet of homers, and he made Rays fans forget about slumps and injuries, and he single-handedly turned the game into a rare keeper for the Rays.

Three homers? There were three reasons to be stunned by the performance of Paredes.

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One -- The batter. Paredes entered the game hitting just .181` and had been one-for-his-last-15. There was no real reason to expect fireworks from his bat.

Two -- The team. Even when healthy, the Rays ' offense has been flatlining in recent games. With so much of the offense out -- Wander Franco, Manny Margot, Brandon Lowe, Kevin Kiermaier and Mike Zunino -- there seemed little room for optimism.

Three -- The opponent. Yankees' starter Nestor Cortes has been superb this season and the Yankees have been better. Who would bet against the Yankees?

But as quick as you can say snap, crackle and pop, Paredes had hit three home runs to lift to the Rays to a 5-4 victory. Paredes helped his team overcome injury, slump and opponent. He became the seventh Rays' hitter to hit three homers in a game. The last three of those have come against the Yankees.

Before Wednesday night, Parades was known for being the other side of the Austin Meadows trade -- a trade a lot of fans would have reversed before Parades gave them a reason to reconsider Wednesday night. He hit a 1-1 cutter from Cortes in the first inning. He hit a 2-2 cutter from Cortes in the third for another homer. And he hit a first pitch homer off reliever Clarke Schmidt in the fifth. (He was hit by a pitch in the seventh).

"The adrenalin was going," Paredes said. "It was good to have a game like that. It was good I got those hits, but the best thing is we got a win."

Paredes now leads the Rays in home runs with eight.

"It was very impressive," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Isaac’s done a nice job since he’s been here.  He plays the game  well. He knows where to be positionally on defense. He makes plays on defense. We’ve seen some power. That’s a day he will not forget.

“We knew we were getting young, talented player. But I don’t really envision seeing anyone getting three home runs in one game."

Of the Rays who have had three homer nights, Evan Longoria has done it twice. Johnny Gomes, B.J. Upton, Travis D'Arnaud and Lowe have done it once. Parades had the lowest home run total on the list coming into his game (Gomes had nine career homers).

The Rays also got a home run by Harold Rameirez, who leaked one over the left field wall on a broken bat.

Seven Rays pitchers combined for the win. In the ninth, Colin Poche gave up a two-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez and a deep fly to left from pitch-hitter Aaron Judge that barely stayed in the park.

"You don’t want to see it get as close as it did, but when the ball left the bat...I think you could hear the bat crack," Cash said. "You never doubt that man’s strength."

The Rays and Yankees conclude their series tonight at Tropicana Field at 7:10 p.m. Shane Baz will start for the Rays against Jordan Montgomery.

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