NEW YORK — Who said the Rays didn't have anything to play for?
On Thursday they rallied from an early three-run deficit to post a season-high-matching seven runs in the fifth inning and roll to a 9-6 win that pushed the Yankees to the brink of elimination in the American League East race.
"Exciting win,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "A pretty impressive offensive inning.''
Singles by RF Mallex Smith and DH Corey Dickerson got the Rays (77-82) started, they took advantage of a wild pitch and a passed ball to score two with two outs, then got a two run homer by C Wilson Ramos, his fifth of the month and 11th overall, then RBI hits by LF Cesar Puello and CF Peter Bourjos.
All that after a rough start as rookie RHP Jake Faria, making his first since Aug. 16 after a DL stint and two relief outings, allowed consecutive homers to start the home first and lasted only three innings.
Cash acknowledged the irregular schedule was "not an ideal" situation for Faria and said he was impressed with his 5-4, 3.43 mark overall.
It was the third time this season a Rays pitcher started with consecutive homers. It happened for the Rays once previously, when Victor Zambrano did so in 2003.
Rookie RHP Chih-Wei Hu was awarded his first big-league win.
Return of Lord Baltimore
INF Tim Beckham, whose July 31 trade to Baltimore has generated extensive debate, returns tonight for the first time to the Trop and is expected to play after being sidelined since leaving Saturday's game with a tight hamstring. Here is a breakdown of his play before and after the Rays acquired Adeiny Hechavarria to bump Beckham to second base, and his first and second month with the O's:
Dates G Avg. HR RBI OPS E
April 2-June 24 w/Rays 68 .278 10 31 .764 9
June 27-July 30 w/Rays 19 .185 2 5 . 556 2
Aug. 1-31 w/Orioles 29 .394 6 19 1.062 8
Sept. 1-28 w/Orioles 10 .188 4 7 . 631 1
Longo's take on Hef: 'End of an era'
The passing of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner meant a little more to 3B Evan Longoria and his wife, Jaime, a former model and Playmate who lived adjacent to the Playboy Mansion for several years. Longoria was impressed with the exotic animals and lavish grounds while attending a 2011 Halloween party at the mansion, though he didn't get to meet Hefner, who died Wednesday. "Jaime was sad, she was a little bit broken up over it (Wednesday)," he said. "She spent two-three years living there; they had a house across the street called the Bunny House that he also owned. … She was closer than most to him so she was upset. … It was awesome to go there. I wish I could have spent a little more time there to see it. … It's definitely the end of an era. "
Number of the day
7 Runs scored in the fifth inning Thursday against the Yankees, matching the Rays' season high for an inning.
• The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will today announce the winners of the Don Zimmer MVP, Outstanding Rookie and Paul C. Smith Champion awards at the Clutch Hitters luncheon, then introduce them in a pregame ceremony. The Rays also will honor their top minor-leaguers, with winners slated to sign autographs from 5:45-6:30 p.m. along the first-base line.
• The Rays all weekend will host a food and supplies drive to benefit victims of Hurricane Maria, with donating fans receiving a voucher for two tickets to a 2018 home game. Collection areas are at Gates 1 and 4. Funds also can be donated via youcaring.com/rayshurricanerelief.