Tampa Bay Rays news: Mike Zunino, bullpen stellar in sweep of Yankees
By Vincent Pensabene
The Tampa Bay Rays dominated their 10-game road trip and concluded with a sweep of the New York Yankees. Tampa now is in sole possession of the AL East lead after a 10-5 victory and proving their presence as a top dog in the division.
Rays Bats Going Alive
The Rays were held hitless through 4.1 innings by Paxton but exploded after that. Down 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning, a pair of walks and a wild pitch gave the Rays runners in scoring position and Joey Wendle hit a two-run double to tie the game. Mike Brosseau gave Tampa the lead with a sacrifice fly to score Wendle.
The bats woke up the following inning after New York took the lead but RBI singles by Manuel Margot and Wendle gave them a 4-3 lead. Mike Zunino hit a three-run homer to extend the lead to 8-4.
Yandy Diaz hit his first home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run shot to right field to make it 10-5, which ended up being the final score. Rays went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position compared to 1-for-8 for the Yankees.
Rays’ Back-End Bullpen Arms Get It Done
Tampa is known for using their relievers in different situations instead of predetermined positions. Today had the final 3.1 innings thrown by Jalen Beeks, Aaron Slegers, and Aaron Loup, and all 10 batters they faced were sent back to the dugout. The bullpen is a key reason the Rays are now 1-6 against the Yankees in 2020.
On Deck For The Rays
Tampa will finally get some home cooking as they return to Tropicana Field to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto is yet is to announce their starter but Ryan Yarbrough (0-2 4.13 ERA) will take the mound for the Rays.
This will be his third time facing the Blue Jays this year as he has thrown 8.1 scoreless innings thus far against them. Expect some length out of him to replenish the bullpen. Tampa is 4-2 so far against Toronto and could create more separation in the division.