NEW YORK (AP)Gerrit Cole was pretty steamed about getting pulled – and he didn’t hide it.
He wasn’t the only frustrated member of the New York Yankees, who are quickly growing tired of losing to Tampa Bay.
Pinch-hitter Mike Brosseau singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and the streaking Rays beat the rival Yankees again, taking advantage of a costly error by reliever Zack Britton in a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.
”No doubt that it helps,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. ”I mean, they’re a very good team, we’re a very good team. You’d like it even a little bit – it hasn’t been so even in years past. But we’ve come in here and played two really good games.”
Britton was being checked after the game for a possible leg injury, and the Yankees said they wouldn’t have more information until Thursday morning. New York’s lineup is already missing Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu due to injuries.
Jalen Beeks pitched out of a ninth-inning jam and Tampa Bay got home runs from slumping hitters Ji-Man Choi and Mike Zunino off Cole, who struck out 10 in a no-decision.
Cole’s 20-game regular-season winning streak remained intact, but he was visibly upset when manager Aaron Boone yanked him with two outs in the seventh after a season-high 109 pitches.
”I was in a good position to finish it,” Cole said. ”He made the move before he even got out there, so it didn’t really matter whatever I said to him on the mound. And whatever I said to him in my glove, we’ll just leave it at that.”
Britton (0-2) struck out Austin Meadows with a runner on to end the inning.
”(Cole) worked pretty hard to finish off the sixth and then into the seventh there. And just felt like Britton-Meadows matchup there at that point with our bullpen lined up, I just felt like that was the way to go,” Boone said. ”I think that’s just the competitor in him. He’s an ace; he wants the ball.”
Britton got himself in trouble in the eighth when he flubbed a toss while covering the bag after a sprawling stop by first baseman Luke Voit.
Yandy Diaz went to second on the error and advanced on a wild pitch before Brandon Lowe walked. One out later, Brosseau and Willy Adames delivered consecutive singles off Britton to give the Rays a 4-2 lead.
Tampa Bay has won four straight and 10 of 11 to move within a half-game of the AL East-leading Yankees. The Rays (16-9) have taken five of six in the season series and handed New York its first two losses this year at Yankee Stadium following a 10-0 start at home.
”It’s very frustrating,” New York outfielder Brett Gardner said. ”They’ve got a really, really good team. They’re one of the best teams in the American League and in order for us to get to where we want to be at the end of the year and be the last team standing, that’s one of the teams we’ve got to figure out and get through.”
It’s only the second time in their last 17 tries over six years that the Rays have won a series in the Bronx. They’ll go for their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium since July 2014 on Thursday afternoon.
Pete Fairbanks (3-1) fanned Aaron Hicks in the seventh, stranding a runner at third to keep it tied. Beeks replaced Chaz Roe with two on in the ninth and struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Andujar. After a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position, Beeks whiffed Thairo Estrada for his second career save and first this season.
Cole is unbeaten in 28 straight regular-season starts, tied with Kris Medlen and Dave McNally for the second-longest streak in major league history behind Roger Clemens, who went 30 starts without a defeat from 1998-99.
Cole’s only loss since May 2019 came in the World Series opener last year with Houston against Washington.
In a matchup of hard-throwing starters, 6-foot-8 Tyler Glasnow tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-hit ball for Tampa Bay. He struck out eight in rebounding from two rough outings.
”The highlight for me, probably for all of us, was Glasnow,” Cash said. ”You’re not going to see much better stuff out of two pitchers in one game.”
Cole quickly fell behind 2-0 on homers by Choi in the second and No. 9 batter Zunino in the third.
Voit reached the second deck with an opposite-field shot to right in the bottom of the third for his ninth home run this season and fourth in three days.
Hicks tripled leading off the sixth and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela, who made two slick plays at third base and threw home to get a runner in the eighth.
Rays: All-Star RHP Charlie Morton (shoulder inflammation) played catch and plans to throw another bullpen Thursday or Friday. … RHP Yonny Chirinos (right elbow strain) was placed on the 10-day IL and 6-foot-10 RHP Aaron Slegers was recalled from the alternate training site. LHP Sean Gilmartin was added to the taxi squad.
Yankees: Judge (strained right calf) did some early hitting and throwing. He’s still on target to potentially come off the 10-day injured list Saturday when first eligible. … LeMahieu (sprained left thumb) said a couple of doctors told him it will probably be two to three weeks before he can resume baseball activity. But there’s no fracture.
Rays: The team hadn’t announced a starter for Thursday, but Cash said RHP Trevor Richards ”will be in the mix to provide a lot of work.”
Yankees: LHP James Paxton (1-1, 7.04 ERA) allowed three earned runs in five innings Saturday against Boston for his first win this season. He is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in six career starts versus Tampa Bay.
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