In the last of the three game-series, Tampa Bay Rays made the 3-1 lead on Yankees. Ray’s Rookie Adam Kolarek sure made a fine show of his pitches in the ninth inning loaded with bases. No one has ever struck out like he did in a situation like this (with Bases loaded) at least not in the minor league.
When he walked out of the stadium victorious he felt a sense of proud in his conduct.
”It just hasn’t been at this level,” he said. ”And certainly not in a stadium like Yankee Stadium.”
Kolarek managed his career’s first save in the middle of a life-threatening plight on Thursday and made Rays overcome the Yankees with 3-1 in their own Yankees Stadium it’s a first since 2014. Since the ballpark opened in 2009, Rays have been making a record out of their 12 consecutive losses in game series in the Bronx.
”This can be an intimidating, daunting place to play,” Kevin Cash, Rays’ manager said. ”But I don’t think these guys really concern themselves with that too much.”
After Sergio Romo started struggling through the ninth inning allowing singles to Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres (Torres was out after a short while due to an error made by him) and walking Neil Walker on four pitches, Rays’ Left-hander Kolarek came in to save the day, striking out Greg Bird in his first pitch, Bird had hit the ball in the foul territory. After this, the 29-year-old struck out both Brett Gardner and Austin Romine, Romine through a fastball speeding 95 mph.
”Getting Bird out on that first pitch was huge,” Kolarek said. ”Because once you get one out, you’re like, ‘OK, I’m one pitch away.’ To get the strikeouts was just a little bit more special.”
Tommy Pham had also returned after his recovery from a right foot fracture and helped Rays facing Masahiro Tanaka hitting an RBI double then Blake Snell and all the others took care of everything else.
It was Snell’s third start after recovering from DL with left shoulder fatigue. During this period he has struck out five players with only two balls hit. He threw 76 Pitches on Thursday.
Pham was on DL still when he heard about the game in Yankee Stadium and begged manager Kevin Cash to let him be in the lineup and played his first ever game in Yankees Stadium.
The Rays opened the game with Tanaka with four straight hits. Mallex Smith hit a single, stole second, then scored against Joey Wendle’s double and after Jake Bauers single Pham finally got his chance and he struck a double off the wall to the left field. Then he added a single in the third and then hit a drive in the left-center field to the warning track which was caught by Aaron Hicks leading to the sixth inning.
Bauers held Smith against David Robertson during the eighth inning his bunt gave no chance to Robertson to play at the plate as it was hugged by the first-base line.
The game was worth seeing adding to another victory of the Rays against Yankees. The Rays have now tumbled over Yankees in three series leading Rays to (62-59) and Yankees adding to another lose in (75-46) with their chances to hold a wild-card spot crumbling.