If New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole has one flaw this season, it's his tendency to give up the long ball. And the Tampa Bay Rays took early advantage of that Monday with homers in the first two innings in a 5-3 win over the Bombers in the Bronx.
Tyler Glasnow was the star of the game after the Rays got out to that early lead, holding the Yankees hitless through the first five and a third innings.
Frankly, one could get the sense the game was over in the first inning, as a two-run Ji-Man Choi home run--his third, and second off Cole this season--seemed to take the wind out of Cole and the Yankees. Choi reached base in all five of his plate appearances, driving in three with three hits and two walks.
Kevin Kiermaier hit a second-deck blast off Cole in the top of the second, extending the Rays' lead to a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead, as the season series with the Yankees has played out so far this season.
Cole (4-2) was definitely not pitching to his own standards, walking four Rays and hitting a fifth, that being Joey Wendle, which led to the Rays' fourth run in the fifth.
The Rays closed out their side of the scoring in the sixth, as with two out, Choi drove in Randy Arozarena, who had singled and stole second in his first game as a Ray.
Glasnow (2-1) cruised through the first five innings without allowing a hit, but with one out in the sixth, D.J. LeMahieu broke up Glasnow's no-no by beating out an infield single on a close play at first that was initially ruled out, but replays showed LeMahieu beating Willy Adames' throw by a half-step. Mike Ford added another single in the inning, but Glasnow got out of the threat by striking out Clint Frazier to end the inning. Glasnow struck out nine and walked only one in his six innings.
But, this being the Yankees, and this being Yankee Stadium, the game wasn't as over as it seemed.
In the seventh, Gio Urshela led off the inning against Edgar Garcia with a solo homer to right, and the Yankees drew even closer in the eighth after a bloop single by LeMahieu followed by a two-run shot by Luke Voit, his 12th.
The Yankees were able to get the tying run at the plate twice in the ninth after an Aaron Hicks single with one out, but Diego Castillo closed the door to earn his third save of the year.
Tampa Bay has now won 19 of their last 22 games, are 7-1 against the Yankees, including 4-0 at Yankee Stadium, and have a best-in-the-American-League record of 25-11. They have won six straight against New York for the first time ever, hold a four-and-a-half-game lead on the Yankees, and finished the month of August 21-7.
Tuesday, The Rays and Yankees go at it again, as Trevor Richards faces Masahiro Tanaka. Coverage on 95.3 WDAE starts at 6 p.m. with Steve Carney and The Inside Pitch. Game time is 7:10 p.m.
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