Tampa Bay defeated New York for the first time this season. The Yankees opened the season with five straight wins, outscoring the Rays 31-10 over the games, and was trying for a four-game sweep.
In his fourth start of the season, Font turned in his best performance of the year in any role, allowing just one run in 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts. Tampa Bay used a reliever to open for the 15th time in 29 games. Entering the game, relievers working as starters had allowed 13 earned runs in 18 innings.
Chaz Roe (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. Sergio Romo, who has also drawn five starts this season, closed for his third save.
Rookie Willy Adames singled to center to lead off the Rays second. Adeiny Hechavarria, who missed nearly a month with a strained hamstring, singled for the first of his three hits. Gomez doubled and Duffy delivered a two-out single.
Aaron Hicks homered off Font in the fifth – it was actually the second homer of the day. Hours earlier, the Yankees held the 72nd Old-Timers’ Day and Nick Swisher, making his debut with the former players, hit a long drive to right field.
Hall of Famers Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson were joined by the likes of Don Larsen, Willie Randolph, Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi. Current New York manager Aaron Boone also took part for the first time.
Yankees: OF Brett Gardner (knee) was held out of the lineup with a little soreness.
Rays: Tampa Bay will start a reliever for the third consecutive day when the team opens a three-game series at Houston. The pitcher, to be announced, will oppose RHP Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.40 ERA), who has won each of his last three starts. It will be Cole’s first career start against the Rays.
Yankees: New York heads to Washington for a makeshift doubleheader Monday. The teams will resume their suspended game from May 15 before a traditional nine-inning game follows. With heavy rain falling, play was halted after 5 1-2 innings with the teams tied at 3. The teams were set to resume play, and their interleague series, one day later, but rain continued to fall and both events were postponed. Boone will turn to his bullpen to begin the day and RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.96 ERA) takes the mound in game two.
Hechavarria, 29, has been out since May 17 after injuring his right hamstring running legging out a single against the Los Angeles Angels.
In Hechavarria’s absence, the club promoted top prospect Willy Adames to fill the shortstop role. He’ll slide over to second base to make room Hechavarria, who will start at shortstop versus the New York Yankees on Sunday.
Hechavarria is batting .273 with 14 runs and 16 RBIs this season. He went 2-for-10 in three rehab games before returning.
Adames is batting .219 with 15 strikeouts in nine games with the Rays.
To make room for Hechavarria, the Rays put infielder Christian Arroyo (left oblique strain) on the 10-day DL. Arroyo is batting .264 with one homer and six RBIs in 20 games.
The 29-year-old Hechavarria had been sidelined since May 17 with a right hamstring strain. Hechavarria grabbed his leg after running out a single against the Angels.
Hechavarria was in Tampa Bay’s lineup Sunday against the New York Yankees. Prized prospect Willy Adames, who played nine games at shortstop while filling in for Hechavarria over two stints with the team, slid over to second.
Hechavarria went 2 for 10 with an RBI during a three-game rehab stint. To make room on the roster, infielder Christian Arroyo was placed on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain following Tampa Bay’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees on Saturday.
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The Tampa Bay Rays have seemingly decided to drop the pedal to the metal and bring this sucker to 88 MPH, because we are in the future and the future is now. The Rays returned to 3rd place in the AL East beating the Blue Jays with a lineup that had Willy Adames penciled in at SS and Jake Bauers at 1B. If all goes well, those two will be manning positions 6 and 3 for many years to come and yesterday was just the start.
Willy Adames found a hole and drove in Jake Bauers on an RBI single, but it was his good friend Jake who had the big highlight of the two.
Jake Bauers is very young and very good:
At 22 years, 248 days, Jake Bauers became the youngest Ray to homer since Wil Myers on Aug 14, 2013 vs. SEA (22.247), and became the second Ray with a multi-XBH game within the first 5 games of his career, joining Evan Longoria in 2008.
BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 25: The Rays’ Jonny Venters delivers a pitch in his first major-league game since 2012. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
St. Petersburg, FL — Jonny Venters has made 16 appearances for the Tampa Bay Rays this season. The fact he has appeared in a major-league game at all seems nothing short of remarkable.
The 33-year-old lefthander has undergone three Tommy John surgeries to repair a ligament in his elbow and a fourth procedure that, while not a full-blown Tommy John, was nonetheless something that could have terminated a comeback for good.
Through it all Venters journeyed determinedly toward a bright light at the end of a lengthy tunnel, one potholed with the monotony of setbacks and rehab.
“There was certainly more than one moment when I went into the trainer’s room and I just didn’t have it that day,” he said prior to Sunday’s game against Seattle at Tropicana Field. “I questioned what I was doing and if I was crazy for doing this, or even if success was possible. But on those days I tried to work as hard as I could. When I got to work and started to do the things I needed to I began to feel better about it.”
Venters never felt better than the evening of April 25 in Baltimore. After being recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Durham he appeared in a major league game for the first time since October 5, 2012 when he pitched for the Atlanta Braves in a wild-card game against St. Louis.
With the Rays leading 6-4 in what would be an 8-4 win, manager Kevin Cash summoned Venters in the sixth inning to face lefty-swinging Chris Davis. He need only four pitches (an ironic number given his four procedures) to retire Davis on a grounder to third. Just like that an unforgettable chapter in a remarkable journey was written.
“I was a mess,” he said of his emotions that evening in what was his first visit to Camden Yards. “The whole day was a whirlwind. It was kind of like my debut. I was nervous, excited and a lot of other emotions. My family made it from Atlanta. It was a special day. I will never forget it.”
It could be argued Venters, who has blanked the opposition in 14 of his 16 appearances, was a long shot to be a major leaguer to begin with. He was a 30th round draft-and-follow selection of the Braves following a season (2003) at Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Fla. Though that draft process no longer exists, it meant the player’s (typically a latter-round pick) progress would be evaluated by the selecting team before deciding whether to sign him. The team would have to sign him within a year or the player re-enters the draft.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have recalled 22-year-old shortstop prospect Willy Adames from Triple-A Durham after placing infielder Daniel Robertson on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
The Rays also announced Monday that pitcher Chris Archer, who has been on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain, will not pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday, as planned. Archer threw a bullpen session Saturday and had hoped to rejoin the rotation next weekend.
“He woke up today feeling not that great,” manager Kevin Cash said, “so we’re going to take a little bit more of a conservative approach.”
Adames played three games last month with Tampa Bay while infielder Joey Wendle was on paternity leave, and hit his first major league homer off Boston ace Chris Sale in his debut on May 22.
Robertson was hurt in the first inning of Sunday’s game against Seattle.
Adames joins 22-year-old first baseman Jake Bauers on the big league roster. Bauers was called up last week when infielder Brad Miller was designated for assignment.
Miller, dealt to Milwaukee on Sunday, joined outfield Denard Span and closer Alex Colome as veteran players traded this season by Tampa Bay.
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, scheduled Monday to start a minor league rehab assignment for a hamstring injury with Class A Charlotte, catcher Wilson Ramos, and pitchers Chris Archer and Nathan Eovaldi are among other veterans that might be moved before the trade deadline.
Tampa Bay has dropped nine of 10 after losing to Seattle 5-4 on Sunday.