Yankees come up short vs Rays, lose 5-4

Harrison Bader hit a homer against the Rays on May 5, 2023, but couldn't save the Yankees from losing at Tropicana Field.

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New York Yankees 4, Tampa Bay Rays 5

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.  — In their first matchup of the season, the top-ranked Tampa Bay Rays defeated the New York Yankees 5-4 on Friday night after Randy Arozarena hit a home run in the first inning and was then hit by a pitch in his next two at-bats. This led to Kevin Cash, the Rays’ manager, being ejected from the game.

Arozarena went far to center field against rookie right-hander Jhony Brito. The starter hit the outfielder in the elbow guard in the third inning. In the fifth inning, Yankees reliever Albert Abreu hit Arozarena with a fastball around the belt high at Tropicana Field.

Arozarena slowly made his way to first base before he threw his bat toward the Rays’ dugout to indicate his disappointment.

Although there was some shouting between the benches, there were no incidents on the field. The umpires convened and gave warnings to both teams, which caused Cash to quickly leave the dugout and dispute the call with Barksdale, the crew chief and first base umpire.

In the seventh inning, Wander Franco hit an RBI double off Jimmy Cordero, giving the Rays a 5-4 lead. Yandy Díaz was originally ruled out at home plate, but the call was overturned after a review.

After scoring two in the third on a home shot by Daz, the Rays (27-6) now lead the AL East last-place Yankees (17-16) by 10 games.

“I don’t care what the number is,” Boone said. “I get it. You’ve got to get right. We have to play well or none of it matters, right?”

Kevin Kelly (3-0) got the win after throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings. In the ninth inning, Jason Adam recorded his third save.

The Yankees scored four runs in the sixth inning that tied the game at 4 off of reliever Garrett Cleavinger, with Harrison Bader’s three-run home run being a major contributor.

Starting pitchers Luis Severino (right lat) and Carlos Rodón (back) are out for New York, along with outfielder Aaron Judge (right hip), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring), third baseman Josh Donaldson (right hamstring), and others.

UP NEXT

On Saturday, the Yankees’ RHP Domingo Germán (2-2) and the Rays’ RHP Drew Rasmussen (3-2) will pitch first.

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