ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays’ recently slumbering offense woke up in the biggest way imaginable Thursday afternoon, unloading on the Yankees 14-0 before 14,134 at Tropicana Field.
The Rays, who snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided their first home sweep since 2019, had four home runs — two by Austin Meadows (3-for-4, five RBIs), the first career grand slam from Brett Phillips and a two-run shot by Ji-Man Choi.
The offensive outburst, which included a 10-run sixth inning, overshadowed an outstanding performance by rookie right-hander Luis Patino (2-2), who allowed just three hits (all singles) in six shutout innings. Patino had eight strikeouts and walked six.
The Rays momentarily pulled within two games of the American League East-leading Red Sox, who were scheduled to face the Blue Jays on Thursday night. The Red Sox and Rays begin a three-game series at the Trop on Friday night.
Yankees ace right-hander Gerrit Cole (10-6) was blasted early, falling behind 4-0 after the first four Rays batters came to the plate. Yandy Diaz had an RBI single, then Meadows followed with a three-run homer.
Cole settled down, retiring 16 of the next 17 Rays batters.
But with one out in the bottom of the sixth, the Rays came to life again. In the half-inning, the Rays scored 10 runs and had 11 consecutive batters reach base. Fifteen men came to the plate. There were three homers — the slam by Phillips, Choi’s two-run homer and Meadows’ second homer of the game, his 20th of the season.
Cole moved to 1-6 with a 4.45 ERA in 11 regular-season games against the Rays.
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