Akshita Patel

“It’s A Last-Place Team,” Benches Cleared Twice As Yankees Vs. Rays Series Finale Gets Heated Up, Verbal Blows Exchanged

The New York Yankees faced sturdy Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series over the weekend. It was a crucial one from the Bronx Bombers’ perspective, as they had the playoff spot at stake. On the other hand, the Rays have likely booked a playoff spot and sit comfortably at the second spot in the East division with 80-52.

The Bombers won the series opener to set foot right into the series. However, the remaining games of the weekend proved to be an absolute disaster. Moreover, the temper flared up in the series finale as both sides cleared benches and bullpen twice in just one inning. Later, verbal blows were exchanged from both sides as none stood down.


Benches Cleared Twice After Yankees Reliever Hit Randy Arozarena By Pitch

Credit: AP, USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s series finale between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays took an ugly turn towards the end of the eighth inning. Albert Abreu came in to relieve Tommy Kahnle in the eighth inning. He hit Rays hitter Randy Arozarena by pitch, which left the latter fuming. He was looking to charge at Albert before being stopped by the plate umpire and the Yanks catcher, Kyle Higashioka. However, things escalated from there as the Rays dugout came running down on the home plate. The Bombers, too, responded and cleared their benches. Further, during the same inning, Randy Arozarena sledged Abreu after stealing the third base. The benches were cleared once again as this time, the reliever charged toward the Rays hitter.

Fortunately, no punches were exchanged as both sides calmed things down. Having said that, the Tampa Bay Rays took shots at the New York Yankees after the game. The hitter at the center of the brawl, Randy Arozarena, felt Albert Abreu intentionally hit him through his pitch, as he had been hit by the reliever in the previous series as well. Randy further pointed out how the Yanks pitchers targeted the likes of Yandy Diaz and Isaac Paredes throughout the weekend. However, the Bombers reliever claimed innocence and denied Randy’s accusations. Further, Brandon Lowe, who hit a home run and four RBIs in the final win, took a brutal jibe at the Yanks. “It’s a last-place team against a team that’s in contention… Not worth our time,” Lowe said. The baseman added that for the Rays, each game matters, unlike the Yankees, who are very much non-competitive.

Ian Hamilton Claps Back At Rays After Benches Clearing Incident

Ian Hamilton
Credit: AP

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees did not hold back on the verbal battle. Reliever Ian Hamilton, who hit multiple Rays hitters through pitches throughout the weekend, wanted to have another game on the schedule. He said that everybody in the clubhouse wants to play another game against the Rays to give it back.

Throughout the three-game series, the Rays were hit six times by the Yankees, with 12 hits in two series combined this season. Naturally, the Tampa boys were frustrated as they felt like they were being targeted deliberately. However, Yanks manager Aaron Boone defended his team, saying that hitting someone through the pitch is not going to help the team win. It’s good for the adrenaline but not a tactic they would resort to.