Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rays Avoid Sweep, Blow Out Bombers 12-3

On a sweltering afternoon in New York where it appeared every fan was accompanied by a handheld fan, the Yankees celebrated their Hall of Fame bound former closer Mariano Rivera. Mo was presented with the plaque that will be placed in Monument Park tomorrow morning for all eternity and capped off the pregame ceremony with a phenomenal speech to a crowd of thousands seemingly decked out in number 42 jerseys all across the ballpark.

The Bombers sure could've used Mo's right arm today as they were blown out by the Rays in the final game of the three-game weekend set. The loss marked the sixth time this season that the Yankees have failed to complete a sweep and also prevented them from pulling to within 5 1/2 games of first place in the AL East. Taking the ball and the loss for New York today was Luis Severino, falling to 1-8 as he got knocked all over the ballpark during his arduous afternoon. Taking the mound for Tampa Bay was Jake Odorizzi, one of the many Rays rumored to be on the move at the trade deadline. Odorizzi definitely showed why there was so much interest in the young right-hander, improving to 7-5 with his impressive outing this afternoon.

It didn't take very long for the Rays to get to Severino, scoring on the young righty in the top of the first. Logan Forsythe took the very first pitch of the ballgame and ripped it into the corner in left field for a leadoff double. Two batters later Evan Longoria continued to be a thorn in the side of all Yankee pitchers, smacking a double to right that scored Forsythe to give the Rays an early one run lead. And it was Logan Forsythe who beat Severino again in the top of the third, this time for a solo shot to right that extended the Rays lead to two.

In the midst of all the Tampa scoring, one of the big heroes in yesterday's game Aaron Judge continued to introduce himself to the league, smacking his second homerun in as many days, a solo blast to right in the bottom of the third that cut the deficit back down to one.

The Rays continued to put the pressure on Severino as they took the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Matt Duffy started the scoring rally with a single to left field, advancing to third on a Nick Franklin double. Corey Dickerson then launched a three-run opposite field bomb to left that extended their lead to 5-1. After giving up back to back singles to Steven Souza Jr. and Bobby Wilson, and then got Logan Forsythe to strike out, Severino was pulled for Luis Sessa, who immediately walked Kevin Kiermaier to load the bases for the Yankee killer Evan Longoria. And the Tampa third baseman delivered once again, lining a shot over the outstretched arms of Aaron judge to clear the bases and put his team up by a 8-1 advantage. Because Severino was responsible for two of the three runs, his final line was an ugly 3.2 innings pitched, allowing seven runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out seven.

Another Baby Bomber who introduced himself this week, Gary Sanchez got two of those runs back for the Yankees in the bottom of the fourth. After a leadoff single by Brian McCann, Sanchez took an Odorizzi fastball into the seats in left for a two-run round-tripper, scoring McCann and pulling the Yankees back to within five.

Although Sessa pitched well after the bases-clearing double, the young right-hander got lit up for four runs in the top of the seventh to break the game wide open. Evan Longoria stayed hot by smoking a one-out single to left, which was followed up with consecutive singles to center by Brad Miller and Matt Duffy, with the latter scoring Longoria from third to make it a six run game. Nick Franklin then lined a homer just over the wall in right that made the score even more lopsided at 12-3.

No more runs crossed the dish for either team, as the long, hot, disappointing afternoon finally ended with the score at 12-3.

The Pinstripers have a quick turnaround as they welcome in one of the many teams above them in both the Wild Card and Division races, the Toronto Blue Jays, with first pitch scheduled tomorrow  for 7:05 PM/EST.

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