With a little help, Rays drub Yankees

by Gary Shelton on April 17, 2021

in general

Wendle had three hits for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Remember all the grumbling you heard -- and said -- about the Rays and their inability to hit, to pitch and to catch. Remember the groans about the hitting with runners in scoring position?

Turns out, the Tampa Bay Rays found a team that was even worse on Friday night.

And thank goodness for the overpaid Yankees of New York.

The Rays continued to dominate the Yankees Friday night, cruising to an 8-2 victory that ran the team's record to 4-1 against New York this year. It was 8-2 against New York in the regular season last year, and 3-2 against them in the post-season.

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This time, the Rays -- with a little help -- bounced the Yankees to end a three-game losing streak and a funk that had seen the team win only three of its previous 11 games. The Yankees, meanwhile, managed just one hit against starting pitcher Michael Wacha in six innings, and walked seven batters, and committed three errors. The Rays were only three-for-15 with runners in scoring position, but still won going away.

"We kind of pieced together innings," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Good teams take advantage of other teams' mistakes. I think we did that. Whether they’re hard-hit or not, at the end of the day. we want to score as many runs as are available to us. We’ll take those. There are a lot of balls we hit right on the screws that guys don’t get anything to show for it."

After losing three straight to Texas, Cash obviously wasn't going to sniff at an offense that managed 11 hits. Both Brandon Lowe and Mike Zunino had two-run doubles, and Yankees' miscues kept innings going.

It was all enough for Wacha, who had his best start as a Ray. He entered the game 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA, but he struck out nine, allowed just one hit and shut out the Yankees for six innings.

"Michael Wacha's performance was the story of the night," Cash said. "We were hoping he could pick up where he left off (in a previous game against the Yankees). Maybe he got a little better. "

Said Wacha: "I felt like we got in a nice little rhythm from the very beginning. We were getting ahead of them, putting pressure on them and able to put them away. Everything was clicking, everything was feeling good."

The Rays play the Yankees again this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. Tyler Glasnow will start for Tampa Bay against the Yankees' Jordan Montgomery.

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