HR-happy Rays rock Tanaka in rocky game

May 20th, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG -- Corey Dickerson homered twice, including a mammoth three-run blast that approached the video board in right field at Tropicana Field, and the Rays chased early to win their fourth straight, a 9-5 victory over the Yankees on Saturday.

Tanaka was pounded for six runs and nine hits -- including three homers -- in three-plus innings before Yankees manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild were ejected in the fifth. Dickerson hit a leadoff homer and barreled a solo shot in the third inning, his 34th against the Yankees, before Dickerson belted a three-run blast in the fourth.

• Latest #ASGWorthy effort for Dickerson

"This team is really impressive on the offensive side," said Dickerson, whose second homer traveled a projected 442 feet per Statcast™. "We've got a lot of guys on this team that can swing the bat and have good track records. We trust every guy that goes up to the plate that he's going to do something special up there."

also had a run-scoring double off Tanaka, who has lacked command of both his splitter and his slider. The Yankees' ace has surrendered 14 earned runs on 16 hits -- and seven homers -- over his last two starts, recording just 14 outs against the Astros and Rays (27.00 ERA).

"I do see some of the things I did wrong, but more than anything, I do have to take this loss," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I just wasn't able to get my job done. I need to move forward, learn from the mistakes, try to correct it and try to get that right and come back strong."

• 'Back to basics' for Tanaka

hit his Major League-leading 15th homer off Rays starter , who was charged with five runs over five-plus innings, then ejected after hitting Judge with a pitch. added a solo shot in the fifth inning.

"When the guys are putting up runs every inning, it gives a pitcher that much more confidence," Andriese said. "Unfortunately today was kind of a day where I could have gone deeper in the game, but the sequences of the sixth inning kind of derailed that."


Twice as nice: Dickerson's second homer of the game and 11th of the season was a no-doubter, calculated by Statcast™ to have an exit velocity of 109.7 mph as he punished a 93.8-mph Tanaka fastball. It also reclaimed the lead for Tampa Bay one half-inning after 's double knotted the score at 3.

Loud contact has been a constant for Tanaka; he has given up a barrel on just under one-third of his combined batted balls over his last two starts (31.8 percent, 7-of-22).

"We've got to get him right," Girardi said. "I thought his slider was better today, I thought his split was better at times. He made some mistakes with his fastball. His stuff was better than his last start, but it's not where we need it to be, and we've got to continue to work at it."

Blowing it open: After Tanaka's exit, Tommy Layne was able to wriggle out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the fourth inning, with the big break coming as Steven Souza Jr. scorched a liner right at shortstop Didi Gregorius. That drive had a hit probability of 85 percent, according to Statcast™. It was short-lived as the Rays batted around for the second consecutive inning in the fifth, with 's two-run single helping to ignite the on-field theatrics.


Home-plate umpire Scott Barry will have plenty of paperwork to fill out after this one. Barry ejected Rothschild in the fifth inning during a mound visit following Morrison's two-run single off , then tossed Girardi as well. Girardi used his bare hands to cover home plate with dirt before exiting. Andriese was thumbed after drilling Judge with a pitch to open the sixth inning, coming after the pitcher had earlier hit and Layne plunked Dickerson.


Yankees: The Yankees conclude their three-game visit to Tropicana Field on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET, as left-hander (3-2, 4.93 ERA) is set to make his ninth start of the season. Sabathia worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings and picked up the win in his last outing, limiting the Royals to just five hits.

Rays: Right-hander Chris Archer (3-2, 3.70) will try to lead the Rays to a sweep on Sunday as they complete their three-game series with the Yankees. Archer is coming off a start against the Indians in which he allowed season highs in runs (seven) and earned runs (six) while issuing a career-high six walks.

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