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Rays go back-to-back-to-back in 4-HR inning

MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Things were looking pretty gloomy for the Rays, down by six runs with two outs and no one on in the third inning against the Yankees on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

Then Evan Longoria hit one in the first row of the left-field bleachers. Brad Miller used the next at-bat to sky a ball past the fair side of the foul pole in right field. On the next pitch, Corey Dickerson crushed a homer to dead center. The Rays had sliced the deficit in half against a Cy Young-caliber pitcher in Masahiro Tanaka. None of it was enough, though, in an 11-5 Tampa Bay loss to the Yankees.

Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Things were looking pretty gloomy for the Rays, down by six runs with two outs and no one on in the third inning against the Yankees on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.

Then Evan Longoria hit one in the first row of the left-field bleachers. Brad Miller used the next at-bat to sky a ball past the fair side of the foul pole in right field. On the next pitch, Corey Dickerson crushed a homer to dead center. The Rays had sliced the deficit in half against a Cy Young-caliber pitcher in Masahiro Tanaka. None of it was enough, though, in an 11-5 Tampa Bay loss to the Yankees.

Full Game Coverage

"That's about as good of at-bats as you're going to have against Tanaka," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "That's probably the best at-bats we've ever had against him, and to all come in one inning, that was a pretty exciting time in the game."

It was the third time in franchise history that the Rays had hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, and the first in more than three years. Add on Bobby Wilson's long ball to lead off the inning, and it was the first time in Rays history that they'd hit four homers in a single inning. Five of the Rays' eight hits were solo home runs, and accounted for all the scoring.

It was the 36th home run of the season for Longoria, which extended his career high. Miller hit his 29th and 30th to extend a career high -- even Wilson's seventh extended a career high. Dickerson moved to within two of his career high after hitting his 22nd home run of the season.

"I don't know if I've ever been involved in a back-to-back-to-back," Miller said. "We fought the same way we've been fighting this whole second half. … It was fun to be a part of it in the dugout like that."

The Yankees' slugfest extended beyond the solo home run. Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer and a solo shot to extend his home run streak to four straight games. Donovan Solano had a two-run homer as part of a three-run ninth. In total, the Yankees collected 17 hits, including nine off Rays starter Alex Cobb, who recorded just four outs.

The sustained success came from the Yankees. But the momentary highlight belonged to Tampa Bay. For a brief span, they made one of the best pitchers in the game look helpless.

"The guy is unbelievable," Dickerson said. "He's got some of the best command in the game. For us to put together good at-bats consistently against that guy was really nice to see."

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tampa Bay Rays