Sunday Matinee: Tampa Bay Crush The Yanks • Latino Sports

Baseball

Sunday Matinee: Tampa Bay Crush The Yanks

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Bronx, NY – The Yankees ended their latest home stand on Sunday afternoon by bowing to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-1, and again slipping to last place in the American League East. The Yanks compiled a disappointing 3-6 mark at Yankee Stadium before departing on a nine game road trip that will include games at Texas, Boston and Baltimore.

The final game on Sunday was exceptionally frustrating to the 40,981 fans in the ballpark who watched the Rays slam five home runs and Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda surrender seven earned runs in five frames.

Two of the visiting players, Steven Souza Jr. and Drew Smiley, were the major contributors to the victory over the Yankees. After sitting out Saturday’s contest, Souza started in right on his 27th birthday on Sunday.

Souza took Pineda’s first pitch, a fast ball, in the first inning into the left field stands for the fifth straight Rays’ hit and the second homer of the inning, which knocked in two runs. With two out in the fifth, Souza blasted a homer deep into right for his fifth home run of the new season.

Rays skipper Kevin Cash said of the homer to the opposite field, right, “The ball hit to right was pretty impressive.” Of it, Souza remarked, “I like going the other way.”

Cash joked about Souza’s birthday celebration on the field, “I’ll make sure I know all of the birthdays of all our players.” Souza commented, “Just playing in Yankee Stadium on my birthday was exciting.”

Souza spoke with more seriousness of how his birthday transpired in contrast with the last two years, “Last year I didn’t play on my birthday. The year before that, I was sent down to the minors on the day before my birthday.”

Although Tampa starting pitcher Drew Smiley will reach his 27th birthday until June he earned his first win of 2016 and continued his excellent pitching this season. Smiley pitched his third straight quality game.

In seven innings he gave up only one run and six hits. He fanned six and walked only one and hit a batsman. He finally received offensive support from his teammates after only receiving three runs in three previous starts this year.

After the game, Cash said of Smiley’s performance, “He picked up right where he left off in Boston.” In his last start, Smiley gave up one hit and fanned 11.”

His catcher Curt Casali compared him to his college roommate and teammate at the university of Arkansas, Dallas Keuchel, “I think he is capable of being as good as Astros Cy young winner and Steve’s college roommate Dallas Keuchel last year honestly. I think he’s got that much deception; he’s that competitive.

Smiley is a Yankee killer. He has given up only six earned runs in 31.2 innings pitched. The only active left-handers with a better ERA against the Yanks are Keuchel and Chris Sale.

About Howard Goldin

Howard Goldin is a 72-year-old Bronx native whose passion for sports is evidenced by his 15 years of sports writing with Latino Sports. A former English instructor at Monroe College, his love for sports started with baseball and have expanded since. If there's a sport or a community event, Howard will be in attendance covering it.

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