Well, that was a nice way to open Tropicana Field for the 2021 MLB season.
Five different Rays hitters had at least two hits and Rich Hill went six innings for his first win in a Tampa Bay uniform as the Rays defeated the visiting New York Yankees 10-5 on Friday afternoon at the Trop.
The Rays didn't take long to jump all over Yankees starter Corey Kluber.
After Yandy Diaz reached on a throwing error from Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu and Joey Wendle singled, Willy Adames hit an RBI double off of the top of the wall padding in right field to score Diaz to make it 1-0.
One pitch later, Brett Phillips hit a ball to center field for a sacrifice fly that allowed Wendle to score to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
Tampa Bay didn't hold the lead for long, as New York answered right back in the top of the third inning.
Following a couple of quick strikeouts, Tyler Wade reached on an infield single & advance to third on a ground-rule double by LeMahieu.
Giancarlo Stanton then bounced a single through the exposed right side -- due to three men being shifted to the left side of the infield -- to plate Wade & LeMahieu to tie the score at two.
Aaron Hicks then stepped up and blasted a two-run home run to deep left field to put the Yankees up 4-2.
And THAT lead didn't last for long either.
Yoshi Tsutsugo led off the inning with a rocket off the wall for a single and Austin Meadows followed that up with a walk.
Randy Arozarena then singled through the right side to score Tsutsugo to make it 4-3.
After a questionable strikeout of Brandon Lowe and a walk to Diaz, Kluber was pulled in favor of Yankees reliever Nick Nelson.
That didn't work out too good for New York.
Wendle smoked a ball over the head of left fielder Mike Tauchman to plate Meadows and Arozarena to allow the Rays to re-take the lead, 5-4.
Following a 1-2-3 inning from Hill in the top of the fourth inning, his third of five on the day, Tampa Bay went to work at the plate once again.
After Mike Zunino was hit by a pitch, Tsutsugo walked and Meadows singled.
Arozarena struck out swinging and that brought up Lowe looking to atone for his last at-bat.
And boy did he.
The Rays second baseman hit a perfectly placed liner in the gap in left-center to plate all three runners to extend the Tampa Bay lead.
Diaz followed with an RBI single to right to make it 9-4.
Adames added a solo shot in the 7th to push the Rays lead to 10-4.
LeMahieu tacked on another run for the Yankees with a solo homer in the 8th.
Hill (1-0) retired the first eight batters and final ten batters he faced on the day. He gave up four hits, four runs and struck out seven in his six innings of work.
Kluber (0-1) lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up five hits, five runs (three earned), two walks, striking out five.
Rays Up Those Banners : Before today's game, the Rays unveiled their banners for being the 2020 AL East champions & 2020 AL Champions. Check out the video BELOW!!
What's Next For The Rays : The Rays are back in action tomorrow afternoon as they take on the Yankees in the second game of this three-game set. First pitch is slated for 1:10pm with the pregame at 12:30pm on 95.3WDAE & AM620.
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