Rays aim to continue keeping Aaron Judge, Yankees in check

Rays aim to continue keeping Aaron Judge, Yankees in check

Through two games in the series between the New York Yankees and host Tampa Bay Rays, pitching has ruled supreme. And the Rays have done something that most teams have not been able to do this month — keep Aaron Judge’s powerful swings in the park.

The Rays will attempt to hold Judge at bay again Sunday afternoon when they play the Yankees for the final time in the regular season, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Behind a strong start by Tyler Glasnow — 5 1/3 no-hit innings and one hit total over six innings — and three relievers Saturday, Tampa Bay two-hit the Yankees in a 3-0 shutout, the Rays‘ 12th shutout of the season. The outcome evened the series at 1-1.

The home side’s win made it a 7-5 edge in the season series with only Sunday’s contest left. That marks the third time in four seasons Tampa Bay has won the season matchup.

Rays outfielder Josh Lowe felt Glasnow would get a no-hit shot by the way he was pitching.

“Incredible,” said Lowe, who had an RBI double and is hitting .350 with three homers and 13 RBIs in his past 16 games. “I think Glas only gave up one hit, right? … I didn’t think they were going to get a hit off him, honestly. And then we turned it over to our bullpen.”

The Rays have done a fine job in tying up Judge, who entered the game on a slugging tear.

In his past 17 games, the powerful right fielder, batting second in the team’s order, has hit eight homers and driven in 12 runs.

Judge hit three homers Wednesday as the Yankees broke a nine-game skid with a 9-1 victory over the Washington Nationals, who clinched the series with two wins.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who turned the three-homer trick twice during his 12-year playing career, said he thought the 31-year-old Judge had hit a trio in a game before. The manager was surprised to learn he had not.

“So I had to welcome him to the club,” said Boone, whose team is 1-1 two games into its 10-game trip but has lost 11 of its past 13 outings.

But Judge, who missed nearly eight weeks this season because of a toe injury, has slumped a bit and succumbed to Tampa Bay starters Zach Eflin, Glasnow and the bullpen.

In Friday’s 6-2 win over the Rays, the reigning AL MVP went 0-for-4 with four swinging strikeouts — his first four-K showing since June 23, 2021 — though he did walk and score a run.

He was hitless in four at-bats Saturday, fanning against Rays closer Pete Fairbanks in the ninth inning.

Currently 7-16 this month after the defeat, New York lost nine straight games from Aug. 12-22, starting with a 3-1 loss to the Miami Marlins.

In Sunday’s finale, New York will start Carlos Rodon (1-4, 6.27 ERA), who will make his eighth appearance in 2023 following a forearm injury in spring training, back spasms and, most recently, a left hamstring ailment.

Against the Rays, the left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.01 ERA in five career starts.

Righty Zack Littell (2-4, 4.27) will get the ball for Tampa Bay and make his first career appearance against the Yankees.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.