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Rays rally past Yankees 4-2

After a home run marathon on Monday night where the Yankees took the dominating victory, it was time for the second game of the series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

The Yankees took an early 2-0 in the top of the first as lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, who has a career .676 average against Rays’ starter Chris Archer (2.59), hit a single on a ground ball to center. Brett Gardner then stepped up and hit a single of his own which started to show the rough start Archer was having. He then walked Alex Rodriguez to load the bases with no outs.  A RBI single by Brian McCann would send Ellsbury home to put the Yankees on the board and once again load the bases. The second run of the inning would then be off a RBI single by Carlos Beltran on a ground ball to right. The Yankees are currently first in Major League Baseball with most runs scored in the first inning with 34 so far this season.

With a two run deficit, the Rays would then have their turn offensively against New York Yankees’ start Nathan Eovaldi (4.14) who has the second highest velocity of pitches in the Majors,and before Tuesday night’s game was undefeated with a 3-0 record. Eovaldi would cruise through six strong inning and would run into some trouble from the Rays in the bottom of the seventh.

To start the seventh inning, Evan Longoria singled on a line drive to left and then advanced to second after James Loney grounded out. Eovaldi would then walk Logan Forsythe and send David DeJesus  up to the plate and while he was at bat, a wild pitch by would advance both runners. DeJesus then singled on a ground ball to center to send Longoria and Forsythe home and tie the game at two runs a piece.

With a tied ballgame, RHP Kevin Jepsen (2.63) took over pitching duties for the Rays in the eighth inning. Archer’s night was over after going seven innings allowing seven hits, two runs and striking out eight batters after a rough first inning. Jepsen pitched a clean eighth inning of no hits or runs allowed with one strikeout.

Eovaldi came back out for the eighth inning, he first struck out Rene Rivera to start the inning but then a walk by Kevin Kiermaier and a single by Steven Souza Jr. put runners on the corners with one out and signal for a pitching change by the Yankees.

Top relief pitcher Dellin Betances then relieved Eovaldi and a sac fly by Longoria sent Kiermaier home to score the go ahead run and give the Rays a 3-2 lead. Souza Jr. then stole second and Betances would intentionally walk James Loney and a wild pitch would advance both base runners. Another wild pitch then sent Souza Jr. home and give the Rays a two run advantage.

RHP Brad Boxberger (1.38) then pitched a one hit ninth inning and the Yankees were unable to get a rally together as the Rays tie this divisional four game series at one game a piece.

Jepsen earned his first win of the season (1-2) and Boxberger his ninth save and Eovaldi is charged with his first loss of the season (3-1).

Next Up:

The Yankees and Rays will meet for the third game of the series on Wednesday night. RHP Nathan Karns (3.79, 2-1) will take the start for the Rays as RHP Adam Warren (4.65, 2-1) on the mound for the Yankees.

Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany

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