Roberto Carlo/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

NEW YORK — Sooner or later, the big hit with runners on base would come for the Tampa Bay Rays. No matter that it took an automatic runner being put in scoring position beforehand, but the Rays got the timely knock it needed to make another stellar outing from the pitching staff stand up.

José Caballero lined a double to lead off the 10th inning to drive home the game-winning run as Tampa Bay defeated the New York Yankees 2-0 inside Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Former Yankee Ben Rortvedt came through later in the inning with a run-scoring single to score Caballero as Rays starter Zach Eflin combined with four relievers to post the first shutout by the Rays this season.

The Rays’ 5-3 defeat last night to New York came despite Tampa Bay pounding out 14 hits, as the team was just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on the night and came into today just 6-for-43 (.140) in those situations over the last five games. Going into the 10th inning scoreless (along with New York), and coming up empty in five at-bats with runners in scoring position in regulation, Caballero fouled off three straight pitches from Caleb Ferguson before lining a ball to right-center that just eluded the outstretched arm of Juan Soto to bring home automatic runner Richie Palacios.

“The guys, they’re frustrated. They realize that we’re getting some guys on base and not taking advantage and finding ways to score,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’re not quitting, that’s for sure. They’re doing everything they can to keep it tied on defense and just wait out that inning. And fortunately for us, we had it.”

Eflin was able to keep the Rays in the game with his second consecutive scoreless outing, allowing just three hits and striking out six over six innings. He threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Monday in the Rays’ 2-1 home win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Not to be outdone by Eflin, Yankees starter Nestor Cortes blanked Tampa Bay over seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out nine. Luke Weaver and Clay Holmes worked scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Roberto Carlo. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 10 pictures in total.

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Tags : Major League BaseballNew York YankeesTampa Bay Rays

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