Yankees show strong offensive knack, beat Rays 6-2

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New York Yankees 6, Tampa Bay Rays 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — DJ LeMahieu smashed two home runs for the first time in a span of two years. Gerrit Cole secured his first road victory in two months. The struggling New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, who currently lead in the AL wild card race, with a score of 6-2 during Friday night’s game.

The New York Yankees, currently in last place with a record of 62-66, are at risk of breaking their 30-season streak of winning records. However, they managed to secure only their second victory in 12 games.

LeMahieu played a pivotal role by giving the Yankees the lead with a home run in the fifth inning off Zach Eflin (13-8). He continued his impressive performance by hitting another homer in the eighth inning, this time against Trevor Kelley. This marked LeMahieu’s seventh time achieving a multi-home run game, the first since May 5, 2021, when he accomplished it against Washington.

Cole (11-4) had faced difficulties on the road, going winless in six starts since his victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3. However, in this game, he showcased his prowess by recording a season-best 11 strikeouts. Over the course of 7 2/3 innings, he gave up just three hits and allowed two runs, with only one being earned. Notably, his leading ERA in the American League decreased from 3.03 to an impressive 2.95.

Following a sixth-inning RBI single by rookie Everson Pereira that propelled the Yankees to a 2-0 lead, Yandy Díaz responded for the Rays (78-52) by hitting a home run in the same inning. Despite the hit, the AL’s leading batter maintained his average at .326, going 1 for 3.

Tampa Bay managed to score their second run against Cole, which was deemed unearned. This run materialized through Brandon Lowe’s RBI single in the eighth inning against Jonathan Loáisiga, who concluded the game with a four-hit performance.

Eflin’s attempt to secure his 14th win, which would have made him the American League’s first, fell short. He conceded two runs and yielded seven hits, impressively striking out a season-high 11 batters across six innings. Notably, he threw a total of 103 pitches, marking a season high in pitch count.

Aaron Judge experienced a challenging game, striking out a total of four times, with three of those strikeouts coming against Eflin. He managed to draw a walk once amidst his struggles.

In the seventh inning, Gleyber Torres contributed with an RBI double, while Giancarlo Stanton added to the team’s score with a two-run double.

In 20 out of his 27 starts, Cole has limited his opponents to two runs or less, a statistic that stands as the highest in the major leagues. Additionally, he has completed six innings or more in 21 of his outings, surpassing all other pitchers in the American League.

Stanton’s bat shattered into multiple fragments as he grounded to third in the first inning, and one segment landed approximately 10 feet away on the outfield turf just behind the shortstop.

UP NEXT

Scheduled for Saturday’s matchup, the Yankees will have right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt (8-7) on the mound, while the Rays will counter with right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow (6-4).

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