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Rays journal: Pulling out a wild win over Yankees

Jake Bauers, top,  celebrates with Rays teammate Willy Adams after scoring a run against the Yankees on Monday, July 23, 2018. (BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times)
Jake Bauers, top, celebrates with Rays teammate Willy Adams after scoring a run against the Yankees on Monday, July 23, 2018. (BRONTE WITTPENN | Times)
Published Jul. 24, 2018|Updated Jul. 24, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays definitely had to work hard for Monday's 7-6 victory over the Yankees.

"Absolutely,'' said Jake Bauers, who had a big hand in it. "Nothing really comes easy for us.''

• They twice put together three-run rallies in knocking around and then knocking out All-Star ace Luis Severino, who allowed a career high 11 hits. "I think the story of the game is we scored seven runs in a Luis Severino start," Rays manager Kevin Cash. "When you that you should win. But … we talked a tightrope there and put ourselves in some bad spots."

• They used four pitchers (Diego Castillo, Jaime Schultz, Adam Kolarek, Ryne Stanek) to face four batters in a seventh-inning sequence and gave up three runs but escaped with a one-run lead. "I just wanted somebody to throw it over the plate and nobody wanted to for whatever reason,''  Cash said. "So we were going to keep going until we found somebody who could.''

• They survived a ninth-inning rally — without sent-home-sick closer Sergio Romo — after the Yankees had the leadoff man on second and then (after an odd bunt by cleanup man Didi Gregorius) the bases loaded with one out, Jose Alvarado getting them through it, with Matt Duffy getting the second out at the plate.

• And they needed a heads-up play for the final out from rookie SS Willy Adames, who took a toss from shifted 2B Daniel Robertson while running toward second and with the runner sliding in safe turned and threw to first to nab slow-running Gary Sanchez for the final out.

"Believe it or not, we practice that play; I don't think we practiced to the point where the guy (going) first to second is going to be safe,'' Cash said. "Really just heads-up on Willy's part. … Willy's arm strength and the wherewithal to know get rid of the baseball, that we still had a chance to get Sanchez at first base. It was a huge play. Didn't see that one happening.''

Sanchez knew he was somewhat complicit in not running harder: "I think I could have done a better job there, for sure. I hit the ball well. When the play developed and I saw the runner safe at second base, I tried to beat the play, but I couldn't. …. I should have run harder. There was a chance he was going to be out at second base, but that didn't happen. He was safe."

Bauers also played a big role, showing some heads-up play of his own in scoring from second on a passed ball when Sanchez didn't hustle earlier and hitting a three-run homer.

The Rays (51-49) won their fifth straight over the Yankees, matching their second longest such run in franchise history.

Kiermaier returns

CF Kevin Kiermaier returned to the lineup Monday as he hoped, the searing pain in his right foot that forced him out of Friday's game sufficiently dulled by the Saturday morning cortisone shot. He tested the foot, still sore from an April 8 foul ball, running and in the batting cage Monday afternoon and gave Cash a thumbs up. "Those cortisone shots, they do wonders,'' Kiermaier said. "If I go the rest of the season without feeling my foot as much as I did previously, I'll be a happy man. I'm just going to try to not even think about it. And hopefully I don't hit any more foul balls off it.'' Kiermaier said he will start wearing a protective guard.

More medical

SS Adeiny Hechavarria said the "pinch" he felt in his left oblique had gone away, and he was looking to return to the lineup tonight, having been available if needed off the bench Monday. … C Wilson Ramos, sidelined since straining his left hamstring July 14, said he was "feeling a lot better" and is hopeful of returning by the end of next week, earlier than expected. "I don't want to say a day but I'm 100 percent sure I will be back soon, probably not more than 10 days,'' Ramos said. Ramos still has to test the leg squatting and running, as playing catch Monday was his first baseball activity. … LHP Jonny Venters (hamstring) was rained out of a planned second rehab outing with the Class A Stone Crabs for the second time. … RHP Jake Faria (oblique) is eligible to come off the DL but, even with LHP Blake Snell's injury leaving the Rays with just two starters, will make at least one more rehab outing at Triple-A Durham.

Question of the day

"How would you feel about getting traded to a team that has rules about hair length?''
— New York Post writer Ken Davidoff to dreadlocked Rays RHP Chris Archer, the subject of trade rumors to the Yankees and elsewhere. Archer deflected deftly, saying he'd "cross that bridge whenever necessary,'' though acknowledged "it's hard not to" be aware of the trade chatter.

Miscellany

• The Rays are calling RHP Yonny Chirinos to start Tuesday; LHP Adam Kolarek is being sent down.

• RHP Chih-Wei Hu was called up from Triple A to replace Snell, and warmed up in the ninth but was not used.

• The Yankees on Tuesday will start RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who was slated to work Sunday's rained-out game, and will stick Wednesday with RHP Luis Cessa, pushing back LHP CC Sabathia. 2B Gleyber Torres is expected back from the DL for Wednesday's matinee.

• INF/OF Daniel Robertson's Sunday walkoff pinch-hit grand slam was the first in Rays franchise history and the first anywhere in the majors since April 5, 2014, when Ike Davis did it for the Mets to the Reds. The only other by an AL player dating to 1973, when baseball-reference.com data is complete, came Aug. 8, 1982, Terry Crowley for the O's vs. the Royals.

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