Tampa Bay Rays' Francisco Mejia celebrates with Jonathan Aranda (62) and Manuel Margot (13) after hitting a three-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Sunday, July 16, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Rays Look to Secure Series Against Yankees

The Tampa Bay Rays are in a race against time. With the All-Star break behind them and a few short months left in the regular season, the Rays know they have only a few more opportunities to rack up division wins and finish atop the AL East.

Tampa Bay took one of those opportunities last night in a 5-1 win against a divisional rival in the New York Yankees. The Rays will look to secure the series Tuesday and stay firmly at the heels of the division leading Baltimore Orioles.

About Last Night

Tampa Bay took the series opener last night in explosive fashion. They shelled the Yankees with five runs across the first four innings. Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Isaac Paredes and Josh Lowe all went over the fence to bring in the Rays’ runs with style. The Yankees starting pitcher was Jhony Brito. Domingo German entered in relief for the pinstripes but the damage had been done.

Meanwhile, Tyler Glasnow got the job done on the mound for the Rays. He gave up a home run in the second inning before tossing five scoreless with eight total strikeouts. Relievers Robert Stephenson and Pete Fairbanks brought the win home safely with a pair of strikeouts in one inning each.

The win came without much struggle. For Tampa Bay, it’s a hopeful sign of the series to come.

Game Two Preview

Both teams are gearing up for another spat Tuesday in the Bronx. Zach Eflin is expected to make the start for the Rays while Carlos Rodon will man the mound for New York.

Eflin has been mostly consistent this series but has struggled in his last four starts. He went 2-2 and only made it past the fifth inning once. He gave up five runs in his last start — a loss to the Miami Marlins.

Rodon is a fresh face in the Yankees’ rotation. Tuesday’s start will be just his fifth this season. He’s still looking for his footing after giving up multiple runs in three of his first four appearances. Tampa Bay will look to keep the offense rolling against Rodon’s inexperience and capitalize on the struggling Yankees.

The Bigger Picture

A series win Tuesday does a lot for the Rays. They sit 1.5 games back from Baltimore for the lead in the AL East. This time of year is where dropping games against the last-place team is something no team can afford. Tampa Bay will look to win Tuesday, set itself up for a series sweep and build momentum into September and October.

First pitch Tuesday is at 7:05 p.m.

About Jackson Castellano

Jackson Castellano is a third-year Sports Media Journalism student at the University of Florida.

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