Yankees’ Cole shackles Rays once again

by Gary Shelton on May 13, 2021

in general

Yarbrough threw 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Yeah, that made sense.

A great pitcher dominated a lousy offense Wednesday night. A strikeout artist tantalized a swing-and-miss batting order. A high-powered arm stopped a low-powered bunch of bats.

So what else is new?

The Yankees, behind star pitcher Gerrit Cole, beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0. Cole struck out 12 and allowed just four hits on the night -- the Yankees have given up seven in two games now -- and watched as the Rays settled into fourth place in the AL East.

The Rays, too, had a good night's pitching -- both starter Collin McHugh and bulk pitcher Ryan Yarbrough threw shutouts. But the Rays were shut out for the second time this season.

“Pretty special night for a guy who is really, really good," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "You go into the game knowing your hands are full, but saying that, he was above and beyond. He had everything working the way he wanted. He pitched with his fastball at the top of zone. I can’t even say that we were expanding. They were strikes at the top of the zone. He had the ability to drop in change-ups, curveballs, sliders, all of it. It’s just a pretty devastating four-pitch mix."

Granted, Cole was impressive, but a lot of pitchers have shut down the Rays' bats lately. The Rays have struck out a major-league-most 396 times. The Rays are on pace for 1,681 SO, which would be a major league record.

"When you're facing a guy that’s got it going, the margin of error is like nil," Cash said. "I can’t say we did anything wrong. We couldn’t get anything going offensively. "

The Yankees scored the only run of the game in the seventh inning when Aaron Hicks' sacrifice fly drove in Aaron Judge, who had singled.

The Rays are batting .201 (124-for-616) in 19 games at home this season, and are 5-for-their-last-74 (.068) with RISP at home. The Rays have been held to 4 hits (or fewer) in each of their last 3 games.

The teams play again tonight. Rich Hill will start for the Rays against New York's Jameson Taillon. The game is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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