Homestand begins tomorrow. Credit Arozarena pic to team.

Tempers Flare After Four Rays Are Plunked By Yankees Pitchers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – It is too bad the Rays and Yankees have completed their season series. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened had they met again.
Randy Arozarena (Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – It is too bad the Rays and Yankees have completed their season series. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened had they met again.

The 13th and final meeting between the teams in 2023 saw four Tampa Bay batters plunked and the benches clear twice in the bottom of the eighth of a 7-4 Rays win at Tropicana Field on Sunday afternoon.

Osleivis Basabe (Carlos Rodon, first inning), Isaac Paredes (Ian Hamilton, fifth), Jonathan Aranda (Hamilton, sixth) and Randy Arozarena (Albert Abreu, eighth) were hit by pitches. Paredes took a 95-mph Hamilton delivery to the head in the fifth inning, and remained in the game.

The Yankees’ Oswald Peraza was hit by a Zack Littell pitch in the fifth inning.

Read more sports from Tom Layberger.

After being drilled by Abreu’s three-one delivery in the eighth, Arozarena was about to slam his bat to the ground, but thought better of it. While gathering himself, he and the righthanded reliever exchanged words. That prompted the benches to empty.

“A three-one count and I think it was on purpose,” said Arozarena, who was plunked by Abreu at Tropicana Field on May 5. “If you look back on previous series, he has hit me before. I have been hit in series before that.”

Arozarena stole second and third. After swiping third, he and Abreu had another verbal exchange leading to the benches clearing again. Nothing came of either situation, though Yandy Diaz, who was hit by a Johnathan Loaisiga pitch in the left forearm during Friday evening’s series opener, appeared particularly unhappy. Managers Kevin Cash and Aaron Boone engaged in conversation.

“We were basically trying to calm the situation, get off the field and complete the game,” said Cash. “Scary moment with Isaac getting hit in the head and then Randy. I applaud Randy for keeping his emotions just enough in check to where it didn’t get out of hand. No player likes to be hit and there is a level of frustration there.”

Yankees pitchers out-hit, if you will, the Rays 12-2 this season.

“I think it stems back to the first series we played them and Randy was hit multiple times,” said Paredes, referring to the May 5 game when Arozarena was hit by Abreu and Jhony Brito. “I don’t know if (Sunday’s hit batters) were on purpose or not. Only they know, but you can tell Randy has been getting frustrated because he has been hit so many times.”

Paredes has been hit by a pitch 18 times this season, including once by Abreu on May 14 at Yankee Stadium, and Arozarena 16.

As for Sunday’s outcome, the Rays rallied from a 4-2 deficit to take two of three from the Yankees and go 5-1 on the homestand. The win coupled with a Baltimore loss to Colorado brought the Rays within two games of the Orioles in the American League East.

In the news: Rays’ Offense Doing Just Fine Without Wander Franco

The Rays improved to 15-8 in August, a month that has been highlighted by hitting .347 (67-for-193) with runners in scoring position. They were 5-for-13 in such situations Sunday when they scored four times in the sixth on two-out, two-run singles by Harold Ramirez and Brandon Lowe to take a 6-4 lead.

Following the second benches-clearing exercise in the eighth, Lowe doubled to score Arozarena and cap a four-RBI afternoon.

Zack Littell (3-4) equaled a career high in going six innings (four runs) to pick up the win. His 92 pitches marked a career high.

“Zack had to grind a little bit,” said Cash. “I don’t think he was quite as crisp as maybe we have seen over his last couple of starts. He kept us in the game and I am impressed that he was able to give us six innings.”

The Rays, who held Aaron Judge without a hit and put him down on strikes eight times in 12 at-bats, went 8-5 against the Yankees this season.

Read more sports from Tom Layberger.

The Rays have a day off Monday before playing the Marlins twice in Miami. They have another day off Thursday before traveling to Cleveland for a three-game series. The Rays return home September 4 for a seven-game homestand starting with three against Boston followed by four against Seattle.

Android Users, Click To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook and Twitter. Signup for our free newsletter. 

We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps

Login To Facebook To Comment
Share This: