NEW YORK – After 161 games, the New York Yankees still need another win.
No easy task against Brandon Lowe and the 100-win Tampa Bay team that is a constant thorn in their side.
Lowe scored three home runs as the Rays beat New York 12-2 to prevent the Yankees from securing a playoff spot on Saturday.
With a chance to pitch his team in the post season, New York starter Jordan Montgomery was shackled to a career-worst seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He conceded a pair of three runs to Lowe, who also went deep in the seventh against Michael King.
Even with an embarrassing defeat in front of a booming home crowd of 41,648, the Streaky Yankees (91-70) still punched their AL wild-card ticket with a win over Tampa Bay in the scheduled regular-season finale on Sunday. can do.
Another loss, and it gets dicey.
“We have to win. It’s as simple as that,” said veteran outfielder Brett Gardner. “Here we are going into Game 162, not knowing what the future holds.
“It’s not ideal. But it’s nice to know we still have a chance.” “The way the weather has gone, it makes sense that it would come to the last day. Feels right.”
New York have been assured at least one tiebreaker game next week that could put the team in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. But after dropping the first two games of this series, the Yankees no longer control their fate to host a wild-card game. Now they need a Boston defeat to do so.
New York started the day with a one-game lead over the Red Sox for the top AL wild card, with Toronto and potentially Seattle also heading into the post-season mix on Sunday. Boston was playing in Washington on Saturday.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said: “We just have a bad day and we have to get over it quickly.”
Lowe, batting in eighth position, equaled the major league record of four home runs in a game. He ran 93 mph past Jolie Rodriguez, who was inside, then sped to first base.
Lowe and Mike Zunino beat Montgomery (6-7) back-to-back in the third to make it 7-1. Austin Meadows added a three-run shot in the seventh as AL East champion Ray (100–61) reached 100 wins for the first time in team history.
“Very big. Very special,” said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. “Proud people, happy for them – 99 sounds better than 100.”
The defending American League champions, who had already boasted a home-field advantage in the AL playoffs, were over .500 in 39 games as never before.
Zunino, Randy Arozerena and Vander Franco delivered three hits each for the small-budget Razz, who beat New York 19-4 and undoubtedly determined to make things tough for their big-spending rivals throughout the weekend. are determined.
Arozrena reached base five times and Luis Patino (5-3) took two hitless innings to win.
Montgomery’s shortest outing this season marked an untimely end to a strong stretch.
The left-hander had not allowed more than one run in three straight starts and nine of his last 11, going 3–1 with a 2.26 ERA during that period. He was 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his last three outings and 22 strikes in 16/1/3 innings and allowed three earned runs or less in 15 of his last 16 since June 20.
“No one is perfect. They are going to be,” he said. “Just have to be better next time.”
Lowe has gone deep in his last three games, and his career-high seven RBIs gave him 99 this season. He extended his career-best total to 39 homers with his first three-homer game in the Majors.
“I’d love to reach 40 and 100,” Lowe said.
“It was good. Day one was probably my favorite day,” he said. “The other two were just kind of icing on the cake.”
This was his sixth career multihomer game and fourth this year.
“What a day. What a weather they put together. Today was a very special day,” Cash said.
Anthony Rizzo made home for the Yankees, and Gio Ursella had an RBI triple.
Rays: With Cash to rest 1B Ji-Man Choi and INF Joy Wendell, catcher Francisco Mejia begins his maiden career at first base.
Yankees: 3B DJ LeMahieu missed his second game in a row with a sports hernia that would require off-season surgery, but the two-time batting champion will try to play through the injury in October. He received a cortisone injection on Friday and the team hopes he can return to the lineup on Sunday… 1b Luke Voight will be sidelined for at least a few weeks with a swollen left knee. Boone said that Voight, placed on the 10-day injured list on Thursday, could potentially return later in October if the Yankees advance significantly in the postseason.
where is the hustle?
Montgomery was shouted out loud and so was Gleber Torres, who didn’t work hard at first and was kicked out in the seventh after swinging and missing strike three on the pitch leading to the backstop.
“First of all, you have to run,” Boone said. “They felt bad about it.”
home away from home
Tampa Bay has improved to 7-2 this season and 12-3 over the past two years at Yankee Stadium, where all other visiting teams are 32-64.
Jameson Talon (8-6, 4.40 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Yankees on Sunday. He was recently troubled by a right ankle tendon injury but tested it on Friday in a successful bullpen. RHP Michael Coach (3-5, 5.26) goes for Tampa Bay.
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