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Kiermaier, Cron power Rays past homerless Yankees

Photo by Wayne Masut I The Scrum Sports

The vaunted Yankees lineup was held without a home run the entire three-game series as the Rays head to Baltimore taking three of four from New York.

If you checked out the box scores of the last three Rays/Yankees games, one stat in particular might shock you. The Rays out slugged the Yankees en route to a series victory to close out the six-game home stand.

Following the sudden trade of RHP Nathan Eovaldi, the scheduled starter for Wednesday’s matinee, RHP Ryne Stanek would “open” his 14th game of 2018. He would, once again, pitch a scoreless first inning making way for the bullpen.

The second inning started bleak for new pitcher, RHP Jaime Schultz. The dreaded lead off walk to Gleyber Torres was followed by a nifty bunt against the shift by Greg Bird for an infield single. Neil Walker‘s sac fly would wind up being all the Yankees pushed across despite the no-out threat off the rookie, Schultz.


Yankees starter, Luis Cessa, was zoned in for New York. He had shutout the Rays through five allowing just two hits. The five scoreless innings from the Rays offense stretched their 16-inning scoreless streak.

It’s been a rough series for Kevin Kiermaier. Before crushing a two-run home run into the right field seats in the sixth inning, he was 1-for-11. That home run gave the Rays a 2-1 lead after a solid five innings of relief pitching by Schultz and RHP Diego Castillo.

“It’s been a frustrating go for me,” Kiermaier said post game. “Always come to the field with a good attitude. Try to string together as many good at bats as possible.”

C.J. Cron crushed his team-leading 20th home run into the deepest part of centerfield with two outs to extend the lead to 3-1. He continues to build on his already career-high and is having a stellar July. Cron was hitting .389/.443/.704 before his home run today. He now has 4 HR, 13 RBI in 18 games this month.


It got interesting in the eighth inning off Jose Alvarado. Pitching into his second inning, he put runners on the corners with a two-run lead and no outs. Enter Sergio Romo.

The Rays defacto closer gave up a sac fly to Giancarlo Stanton who scored Brett Gardner from third to pull New York within a run.


Up by just a run in the ninth, Kevin Cash did some things.

Wanting to keep Romo in the game but not face the lefty, Bird, Romo moved over to third base. Yes – Sergio Romo moved over to play third base. RHP Jonny Venters, fresh off the DL, came in and retired Bird.

Romo moved back to the mound. Cash looks like a genius once again.

“Very, very fun game,” Romo said about the moves in the ninth. “Very eventful in many ways.”


The Yankees made things real interesting in the ninth. An error on a text book double play by Matt Duffy didn’t help things. But a sliding grab against the wall in foul territory by Jake Bauers and Romo’s slider got the Rays out of it and a series win over the Yanks.

“We got a series win against a really tough team,” Romo said. “Never an easy thing against those guys so glad we won.”


The Rays travel to Baltimore to begin a four-game series against the last place Orioles.

RHP Hunter Wood will “open” tomorrow’s game followed by RHP Chris Archer starting on Friday.

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