ST. PETERSBURG – Aside from C.J. Cron hitting his 29th homer, the most interesting element in the Rays ugly 12-1 loss to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon was analyzing CC Sabathia's angry exit from the game.
The veteran Yankees starter was ejected in the sixth inning after hitting Rays catcher Jesus Sucre in apparent retaliation for the Rays throwing behind catcher Austin Romine in the top of the inning, which may have been pay back for Sabathia hitting Jake Bauers in the fifth.
Sabathia glared and pointed at the Rays dugout, mouthing "That's for you, b—-," and then grabbed his crotch as he headed into the dugout.
Rays players didn't want to say much about Sabathia's actions.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the exchanges:
"I think it was probably a bunch of people protecting teammates more than anything. There's not a ton to say. It looked like there was some intent there but that's not for me to decide."
Asked is he was surprised by the anger Sabathia showed, Cash said no, that he "didn't really notice it."
Kittredge said, "Just baseball, y'know. I don't really have a comment, I'm just trying to my job and today obviously didn't do a very good job of it."
Also, that he agreed with Cash's description.
Sabathia was two innings shy of 155 for the season, which would have triggered a $500,000 incentive bonus.
The Rays, now 88-71 after losing three of four, made a mess from the start.
Opener Jaime Schultz allowed a three-run homer in the first, Austin Pruitt three more runs over his 3 1/3 innings ands Andrew Kittredge four in his two.
They didn't do much better offensively.
They didn't have a hit until Joey Wendle singled off Sabathia with two outs into the fourth, and got their only other hit when Cron went deep in the seventh. Having long passed his previous career high of 16 homers, Cron has three games to try to get to 30.
The Rays wrap up the season against the Blue Jays, opening a three-game series on Friday night with Tyler Glasnow on the mound.