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Randy Arozarena homers and drives in 4 runs, Rays beat Yankees 7-2

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Randy Arozarena homered and drove in four runs, Yandy Díaz hit a leadoff shot, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-2 on Saturday.

Arozarena put the Rays ahead 4-2 with a three-run homer in the third inning off Nestor Cortes (1-4). The 2023 All-Star has struggled this season — he went 2 for 3 to raise his average to just .154 — but has gone deep four times in his last eight games.

“I’m definitely starting to feel a little better,” Arozarena said through an interpreter after his first multi-hit game since March 30.

Díaz homered on Cortes’ first pitch of the game. Díaz and Arozarena had RBI doubles in a three-run seventh.

“You know what they’re capable of,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They made a big difference in winning the game.”

Díaz, last year’s AL batting champion, had three hits and raised his average to .250. He’s 13 for his last 33 (.394).

Zack Littell (2-2) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings as the Rays returned to .500 at 20-20.

Rays closer Pete Fairbanks returned after missing 19 games with nerve-related hand issues and struck out one in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Anthony Volpe had a two-run single in the second for the Yankees, who lost for the second time in eight games.

New York slugger Juan Soto failed to reach base for the second straight day and just the sixth time this season. He came close to putting the Yankees ahead in the seventh when his 404-foot, 107.5 mph drive with two on and two out off Jason Adam was caught at the wall in center.

“I don’t like to see Soto at the plate at that moment,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Off the bat I wasn’t sure if it going (out) or not.”

Cortes gave up four runs and five hits over 5 1/3 innings.

“I think it’s a little bit with my mechanics, my delivery,” Cortes said. “I was able to fix it after the third inning and was able to dial in more.”

Cortes and Littell were teammates at High-A and Double-A in the Yankees’ organization in 2017.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: Ace Gerrit Cole (right elbow inflammation) threw 29 pitches in his third bullpen session. … INF DJ LeMahieu (right foot) took live batting practice and is nearing a rehab assignment. … OF Jasson Domínguez (Tommy John surgery) will start a rehab assignment with Class A Tampa Tuesday or Wednesday.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (right oblique strain) was removed from Friday night’s game with Triple-A Durham for precautionary reasons. “I think what was expressed is that he wasn’t trusting it,” Cash said. This is Lowe’s third straight injury-marred season since hitting 39 homers in 2021. … LHP Brendan McKay (elbow) has been placed on the 60-day injured list by Triple-A Durham. The one-time two-way player taken fourth overall in the 2017 draft has battled injuries and pitched in just 19 games since the start of the 2020 season.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Luis Gil (3-1, 2.92 ERA) gets the start Sunday. Rays LHP Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.96 ERA) will start or follow an opener.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

By MARK DIDTLER
Associated Press

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