Longoria lifts Rays past Yankees
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said third baseman Evan Longoria needed Thursday off after the team’s long road trip.
A rested and fresh Longoria went 4-for-5 with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead the Rays to a 5-4 win against the New York Yankees on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
Longoria’s single off Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard (0-2) sent Derek Norris to the plate and gave the Rays a 5-4 lead.
“I felt like I was due,” Longoria said. “I always feel like I‘m due when struggling, but it was a good game to break out in. We needed a win in the division. We are looking at these guys. Kudos to (Norris) for scoring on that hit. I hit it hard and I was hoping (the third base coach) would just send him and see what happens. He did and we forced (Brett Gardner) to make a perfect throw to get him.”
New York (24-15) tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the eighth when Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer off Rays reliever Ryne Stanek.
“They are all tough losses,” Yankees bench coach and acting manager Rob Thomson said. “Matt hits that big two-run homer late. It’s a tough one to lose.”
Tampa Bay (22-22) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 4-2 lead.
Corey Dickerson, Kevin Kiermaier and Longoria all reached base with no outs against Yankees reliever Adam Warren. Logan Morrison hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Dickerson, and Rickie Weeks Jr. hit a two-run double down the left-field line with two outs to send Kiermaier and Longoria home.
“Really impressed with the way the guys came back,” Cash said. “Really happy for Rickie Weeks to come through with a big hit and drive in two to give us a lead. And then to come back and win with Longo’s hit. We did a lot of good things offensively, pitching and defense.”
Neither Yankees starter Luis Severino nor Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez factored into the decision. Severino gave up one run and struck out seven in five innings while Ramirez gave up two runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Danny Farquhar (2-1) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the win while Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth inning and picked up his 11th save.
Farquhar entered the game with a runner on first and worked Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge to a full count before Judge grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
New York jumped on Ramirez in the first inning when Holliday doubled to put runners on second and third. Starlin Castro gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead when he grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Jacoby Ellsbury.
Tampa Bay battled back against Severino in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1 on an RBI double from Morrison.
“I struggled in the first inning,” Severino said. “I threw a lot of pitches. I think it was a bit of a battle tonight to keep myself in the game. I wanted to go seven innings but I didn’t get there.”
Ellsbury gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth when he doubled down the left-field line and Gardner scored on the hit.
Ramirez proved to be efficient in his spot start, throwing just 65 pitches (48 strikes) in the outing.
“I want to take advantage of every chance, every shot that they give me,” Ramirez said. “No matter what the position is, if I have to relieve, have to close, have to long relieve or have to start. I just want to execute and show the team that I can do it no matter what the deal is.”
NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not attend the game Friday so he could watch his eldest daughter, Selena, graduate from high school. Bench coach Rob Thomson served as acting manager. ... The Rays placed 2B Brad Miller on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain. ... The Rays acquired utility infielder Michael Martinez from the Indians on Thursday for a player to be named later.