Anthony Rizzo’s first home run on Friday night just cleared the short right field fence at Yankee Stadium. His second towered over it with ease — and the first baseman enjoyed every second of it as he watched from home plate.
The eighth-inning skyscraper off Rays reliever Jason Adam gave the Yankees the lead for good in a 6-5 back-and-forth win that tied the series between division foes.
Tampa Bay, first in the American League East, had taken control earlier in the eighth when Josh Lowe homered off Michael King with two men on. The blast, Lowe’s second in as many days, gave the Rays a 5-4 edge just minutes after the Yankees had strung together a few hits to form their first lead of the night.
Anthony Volpe, dropped to seventh in the lineup, put the Yankees ahead, 3-2, with a single off reliever Kevin Kelly in the seventh, while Oswaldo Cabrera drove home an additional run with a base knock of his own, though the inning ended when he tried advancing to second.
Volpe had tied the game at two with a fifth-inning solo shot, while Rizzo got the Yankees on the board with the same result in the first.
Gerrit Cole, meanwhile, struggled to keep the Rays in the ballpark for the second consecutive start, though he limited Tampa Bay to solo shots after coughing up a 6-0 lead at Tropicana Field last Sunday.
Randy Arozarena and Jose Siri took Cole deep in the first and second innings, respectively, but the ace didn’t allow any more runs after that. Cole totaled five innings, five hits, two earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts over 95 pitches.
The Rays used Trevor Kelley as a two-inning opener. He gave up Rizzo’s first homer before Josh Fleming delivered four innings of one-run bulk work.
The last-place Yankees will face the Rays’ No. 1 starter on Saturday, as Shane McClanahan will square off against fellow southpaw Nestor Cortes. McClanahan is off to a dominant start this season, recording a 7-0 record, 1.76 ERA and 58 strikeouts through eight outings and 46 innings.
Cortes, meanwhile, is 3-2 with a 4.74 ERA and 3 strikeouts over 38 innings and seven starts. His ERA is on the higher side thanks to an April 30 start that saw him surrender seven earned runs to the Rangers in Texas. Cortes hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his other starts this season.
Sunday’s series finale features a Mother’s Day matinée between Zach Eflin and Clarke Schmidt. The Rays’ righty is 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA this season, while the Yankees’ is 1-3 with a 5.35 ERA. Schmidt has shown improvement lately, holding opponents to two earned runs over 10.1 innings in his last two starts.
Source: Berkshire mont