Rays mash Yankees in home opener

by Gary Shelton on April 10, 2021

in general

Lowe had a bases-loaded double for Rays. / CHUCK MULLER

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Turns out, there is life after a World Series trip, after all.

Turns out, there also is life to the Tampa Bay Rays' pitching rotation, and life in the bats of the order and life in a very young season.

The Rays showed flashes of all of that in their home opener on Friday afternoon, smashing the New York Yankees, 10-5, to stop a four-game losing streak.

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Tampa Bay, which has struggled coming out of the gate in a six-game road trip, pounced on the Yankees on a day in which they raised the banners for wining last year's AL East and American League championships. The Rays beat the Yankees eight out of 10 times in the regular season last year and beat them three-out-of-five in the playoffs.

It was an impressive day offensively for the Rays, but a key note was the pitching of Rich Hill, an off-season acquisition. Hill retired the first eight batters he faced and the last 10. In between, he gave up four runs to four straight batters -- including a two-run single by Giancarlo Stanton and a homer by Aaron Hicks.

Still, Hill got the win, the first for a starting pitcher not named Tyler Glasnow this season.

"He was outstanding the entire game," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I know the four spot they put up -- Stanton did a good job of hitting the ball the other way with two guys on. We saw Rich get into a groove with the fastball curveball combination. You could tell he was in rhythm and in sync with his delivery. It allowed him to compete  pitch after pitch, strike after strike."

Said infielder Joey Wendle: "He was pretty dominant except for about three minutes. Thah’s baseball. He kept us in the game and pitched incredibly."

The Rays supported Hill with their best offensive night of the season. Tampa Bay had 13 hits and 10 runs. Included in the assault were:

-- A two-run double by Joey Wendle in the fourth inning to allow the Rays to retake the lead after the Yankees had gone ahead 4-2.

-- A bases-loaded double by Brandon Lowe for his first RBI of the season.

-- A double and a homer by Willie Adames.

-- Three hits by Austin Meadows.

-- A double and a single by Yoshi Tsutsugo.

-- Two hits by Yandy Diaz.

"We had good at bats," Cash said. "There's no denying  that it was different than we saw in the last 2-3 days in Fenway. Guys were excited to get back here. That was pretty cool. (Corey) Kluber is tough. We didn’t do much to help him out, which was big. Anytime you start expanding with a pitcher that talented, he’s just going to go to work and exploit that. We didn’t allow him to do that today."

The Rays go against the Yankees, huge favorites in the AL East, today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Chris Archer will pitch for the Rays against Domingo German.

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