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Rays Trounce Tanaka, Close Gap on Yankees After 6-3 Win

Brandon Lowe circles the bases after his third-inning three-run homer off Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka entered Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays owning a 10-4 record in 19 career starts against them, with many memorable starts for the Yankees in recent seasons. However, the 2020 edition of the Rays aren't playing on past history, as they took the game to Tanaka early, busting open for four third-inning runs in a 6-3 win over the Yankees in the Bronx.

Brandon Lowe continued his hot hitting, with his 5th homer in six games, a three-run shot to center, highlighting that third inning.

All the Rays' runs came in the first five innings, and Tanaka was knocked out of the game after a lead-off home run by Austin Meadows in the fifth that gave Tampa Bay a 6-1 lead.

There were some tense moments for the Rays throughout the remainder of the game, as the vaunted Yankees bullpen shut down the Rays the rest of the way. Luke Voit's two-run homer off Rays' starter and winner Blake Snell in the bottom of the fifth cut the Tampa Bay lead to 6-3.

The Yankees also made the Rays' hearts skip a few beats faster in the seventh, loading the bases against Diego Castillo with one out, but Castillo came back to strike out Voit and induce Gio Urshela to ground out to Yoshi Tsutsugo to end the threat.

Lowe had just missed a homer in the top of the first, as Tanaka looked nothing like the pitcher who had dominated the Rays over the years, looking a little shaky the first time through the Rays' lineup.

Prior to Lowe's third-inning blast, Kevin Kiermaier hit a one-out triple into the right-field corner, and was driven in on a Michael Perez single. And in the fourth, KK was in the center of the action again, with a two-out double that advanced Willy Adames, who had singled with one out, to third. A Gary Sanchez passed ball allowed Adames to score, giving the Rays a 5-1 lead at the time.

Tampa Bay has now won four of the first five meetings against the first-place Yankees, and handed the Bombers their first loss at Yankee Stadium this year. The Rays are now 1.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, and are now 7-1 on this road trip after not having won a road game this season until a week ago in Boston.

Snell pitched five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, two of those home runs, including a solo shot by Sanchez in the fourth, for the Yankees' first run.

The Rays scored more runs off Tanaka in this game alone than he had allowed in his previous five starts against them.

Tyler Glasnow will face Gerrit Cole in game two of the series on Wednesday, first pitch at 7:10 p.m. on 95.3 WDAE. Steve Carney and The Inside Pitch kicks off the broadcast at 6 p.m.

Photos Courtesy: Getty Images

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