Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brooks Raley delivers to the New York Yankees during the ninth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 26, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Rays Raise Awareness with Division Rival

After dropping the first of their four-game set with the Yankees, the Rays look to get back on track against their division rival. Thursday night was the first time this season that the two AL East powerhouses met.

Rays fall to the Yankees in the series opener

The Rays had a hard time putting together any offense against Yankees’ starter, Nestor Cortes. Cortes blanked the Rays all day before allowing one run late in the ninth. This was good enough to boost the Yankees to a 7-2 win over the Rays.

Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two hits and two earned runs in the loss.

The one bright spot offensively in this one for the Rays is the fact that Harold Ramirez was able to stay hot, going 2-4 in this one.

Rays and Yankees take a stand for social justice

Prior to Thursday night’s game, the Twitter accounts for the Rays and the Yankees decided to do something different. Instead of live-tweeting updates of the game, the Rays and Yankees decided to post facts about the impacts of gun violence. They did this in response to the horrible tragedy that took place in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday.

Friday’s Pitching Matchup

After beginning the season in the bullpen, Jeffrey Springs is set to make his fourth start of the season Friday night. Springs has had a very solid season so far, posting a 1.32 ERA in 12 appearances in 2022. Springs has done a good job of utilizing the change-up this season, with the left-hander fanning 27 batters in 27 1/3 innings pitched.

https://twitter.com/PitchingNinja/status/1528185158934925313

Springs’ opponent Friday night will be Yankees veteran Jameson Taillon. The 30-year-old right-hander will make his ninth appearance of the season Friday night, starting all nine times. Taillon has a 2.95 ERA for the Yankees this season. Good enough for a 4-1 record on the season.

AL East implications

The next three games of this series will be crucial if the Rays want to gain some ground on the division leader New York Yankees.

The Yankees not only hold first place in the AL East, but the Pinstripes currently hold the best record in the entire MLB. This has been quite the start for the Yankees, as this marks the second-best start in club history through 45 games.

The second place Rays currently find themselves sitting 5.5 games back of the red-hot Yankees.

Although the Rays aren’t first in the division at the moment, they still would find themselves in the playoffs if the season were to end today. Tampa Bay is currently tied with the Angels for the first AL wild card spot, however, it is worth noting that the Rays only hold a two game lead on another AL East rival, the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Rays and Yankees series continues Friday night with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m.

 

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