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Longoria Propels Rays to Victory

Wayne Masut | Senior Staff Photographer

Yankees RHP Luis Severino was dominant in his last outing against Tampa Bay. That was not the case on Friday.

Entering Friday night’s game Luis Severino had great numbers against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Severino held the Rays to one run on Friday, striking out seven over five innings. His command, however, got away from him.

He recognized after the game that tonight was a battle.

“I think tonight was a fight, to keep myself in the game. I wanted to go seven innings but I couldn’t get there,” he said.

Longoria Breaks Out

Mared by an 0-for-12 drought, Evan Longoria got the bat going on Friday night. He scored the team’s first run of the night after reaching on a fielder’s choice in the first inning – he wasn’t done there. After a single in the third, Longoria doubled off Severino in the fifth. His third hit came in the seventh.

However, his fourth hit of the night is the one that made the difference.

After Matt Holliday tied the game in the top-of-the-eighth with a two-run shot, Longoria drove home Derek Norris with the game-winning run in the bottom-half.

The home run by Holliday came on a Ryne Stanek 100-mph fastball. As a result, statcast clocked the exit velo at 99 mph.

The 5-4 win gave the Rays their third consecutive victory.

For Longoria, It’s the seventh time in his career that he’s had a four-hit performance. The last time was on July 8, 2016 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It’s just the second time (4/25/15 v TOR) that he has accomplished the feat at home.

“I felt like I was due. I always feel like I’m due when I’m struggling, it’s a good game to break out in. We need to win in the division,” Longoria said after the game.

Efficient Erasmo

With the off-day yesterday, the Rays entered tonight’s game with a well-rested bullpen. This was especially relevant because Erasmo Ramirez is stretching into a starter so pitch-count is a consideration. The versatile right-hander threw 65 pitches, 48 for strikes. That’s an impressive 74% strike-rate. Much of his success is due to his limited pitches-per-batter.

Trailing 2-1, Ramirez departed after a Starlin Castro single, turning the ball over to Jose Alvarado. Both bullpens struggled a bit but manager Kevin Cash spoke well of his guys, including Ramirez.

“He’s been about as good as anybody as far as being efficient and getting deep in the ballgame,” the Rays skipper said after the game.

Erasmo Praises Norris

Up Next:

The Rays look to make it four-in-a-row on Saturday. Something they have yet to do this season.

NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (5-2; 5.80)
TB: Matt Andriese (3-1; 3.18)

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