Rays hammer Yankees behind home runs

by Gary Shelton on July 30, 2021

in general

Meadows hit two homers against Yankees./CHUCK MULLER

Friday, 4 a.m.

Consider it one of the biggest mysteries of life, if not of the Tampa Bay Rays.

How in the world can a team struggle so mightily against the likes of Nestor Cortes, just another arm, one day and then do this to the likes of Gerrit Cole the next? How can a franchise be closed for renovations one day and open for business the next?

The Rays clobbered the Yankees, and Cole, on Thursday, pounding him en route to 14-0 victory. Cole hasn't been the same since baseball tightened its rules against sticky substances, but he hasn't been this mortal, either. He gave up seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. The eight runs he gave up were his most as a Yankee.

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The Rays, whose hitting had been weak as of late, had 12 hits and four home runs in the rout. Austin Meadows hit two homers (and had five RBI), Brett Phillips had a grand slam and Ji-Man Choi had a two run homer. In the sixth, the Rays scored 10 times, sent 15 men to the plate and had 11 in a row reach base. They hit three home runs in the inning.

Almost lost in the drubbing was an excellent start by Luis Patino, who gave up just three hits and no runs in six innings.

"Phenomenal is a good word," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "He was so impressive -- the poise he showed making  big pitch after big pitch,. the strike-throwing, the commitment to the zone with the fastball and the slider. I felt like he was on attack mode the entire time. You're not going to see many better outings that that against that lineup."

For Phillips, it was his first major league grand slam. He remembers having one in low Class A in Quad Cities back in 2014.

 "It feels great," Phillips said. "It’s exciting. I'm glad I was able to contribute to a team win. I'm floating really good. My energy is up."

The Rays struck early, scoring four runs in the first off of Cole. Three of those came on a home run by Meadows.

Meadows now has 20 home runs and 76 RBI on the season.

“That inning and Patino were the game.," Cash said. " Luis was going toe to toe with him. You know how talented Cole was. "

The Rays open a series at Tropicana Field against the Boston Red Sox tonight. Josh Fleming will start for the Rays in tonight's 7:10 p.m. game. Martin Perez starts for Boston.

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