Rays on top of the world after sweeping Yanks

by Gary Shelton on August 21, 2020

in general

Zunino had a home run./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

From here, you can see the playoffs.

From here, you can see success and awards and pay raises. From here, you can seehope and belief and resiliency. From here, you can see possibilities.

The season is four games away from the halfway point, but here stand the Tampa Bay Rays, surging and standing in first place in the American League East.

The Rays won again — sounds familiar, doesn't it? — over the New York Yankees Thursday in Yankee Stadium, going from a near comatose effort to a 10-5 victory over their high-priced rivals.  The Rays scored three

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times in the fifth and five in the sixth to complete their first sweep of the Yankees on the road in six years.

The Rays are 11-1 in their last 12 games, averaging almost eight runs a game. According to Stats LLC, the Rays are the fifth team in major league history to sweep series of 3-plus games at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium on the same road trip.

“The guys have worked hard to get here,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “We’ve got plenty of challenges ahead of us, but you’ve got to enjoy this. You don’t have many road trips the way we did.”

The odds seemed to have caught up to the Rays in much of their latest effort.  Yankees’ starter James Paxton held the Rays without a hit going into the fifth inning. But walks to Willy Adames and Manuel Margot brought up Joey Wendle, who doubled to left to tie the game. Mike Brousseau added a sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead.

The Yankees came back on a two-run homer by Gio Urshela to take the lead, but the Rays came back with five runs in the sixth — including a three-run homer by Mike Zunino. They later added a two-run homer by Yandy Diaz, his first of the season.

The Rays pieced together their pitching efforts, throwing seven men at the Yankees. Only Trevor Richards threw more than four outs.

The Rays now return home to Tropicana Field for a 6:40 p.m. game tonight against Toronto. Ryan Yarbrough will start for Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays have not announced a starting pitcher.

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