Home News Rays take Nestor Cortes deep twice, tie series with Yankees

Rays take Nestor Cortes deep twice, tie series with Yankees



TAMPA – Nestor Cortes didn’t have his best stuff on Saturday.

That became clear on the first pitch he threw, as Yandy Díaz crushed the southpaw’s fastball 401 feet to left field for a leadoff home run. It wouldn’t be the last time the Rays went deep off Cortes in what became a 7-2, series-tying win for Tampa.

The Yankees responded to Díaz’s homer in the second inning when Anthony Volpe produced a two-run single with the bases loaded. However, Trent Grisham ran into an inning-ending out on the play, killing any chance the Yankees had at adding on with Juan Soto due up.

The Rays then tagged Cortes for three more runs in the third when Randy Arozarena launched a dinger of his own off the starter.

Cortes ended up leaving the game after 5.1 innings, five hits and four earned runs. He also walked three and struck out five while totaling 89 pitches.

Díaz and Arozarena weren’t done, though, as the Cuban duo each recorded RBI doubles with Dennis Santana on the mound in the seventh. Arozarena then scored when Isaac Paredes lifted a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Yankees, meanwhile, didn’t score again following Volpe’s knock, which came against Rays starter Zack Littell.

Littell tallied 5.2 innings, four hits, two earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts over 80 pitches before giving way to Tampa’s bullpen.

With the series knotted up, the Yankees will turn to Luis Gil on Sunday before making their way to Minnesota.

The 25-year-old is coming off two impressive starts, outdueling Cy Young winners Corbin Burnes and Justin Verlander while holding the O’s and ‘Stros to three hits and one earned run over 12.1 innings. Gil, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, has a 2.92 ERA through seven starts.

The Rays had not announced their Sunday starter by the end of Saturday’s game.

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