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Drew Rasmussen, Rays shut down Yankees in opener

May 11, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Josh Lowe (15) scores a run against New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino (39) on a double by first baseman Yandy Diaz (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Rasmussen struck out Aaron Judge three times and pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball as the visiting Tampa Bay Rays routed the New York Yankees 8-2 on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series.

Josh Lowe hit a two-run homer and drove in a career-high five runs for the Rays, who beat the Yankees for the third time in four meetings this season.

The Tampa Bay offense came to life after getting blanked for the first four innings against New York starter Domingo German.

Yandy Diaz hit an RBI double in the fifth after Lowe reached on a fielding error by New York first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

In the sixth, Lowe ripped a bases-clearing double off the base of the center field wall against Ron Marinaccio. The Rays right fielder then blew the game open with a two-run blast to center off Ryan Weber in the eighth.

Taylor Walls added an RBI double in the seventh and Isaac Paredes contributed a run-scoring double in the eighth as the Rays became the first team to reach 30 wins this year, doing so in their 39th game.

Rasmussen (4-2), who allowed two singles to former Tampa Bay outfielder Jake Bauers, has thrown 21 scoreless innings in four career appearances against the Yankees. He struck out seven, walked none and got nine outs on groundouts while throwing 57 of 76 pitches for strikes.

It was the fifth time Rasmussen did not allow a run in his eight starts this year. On Saturday, he limited the Yankees to two hits in 5 2/3 shutout innings during a no-decision.

Rasmussen highlighted his latest scoreless showing by fanning Judge in the first, fourth and sixth.

After scoring 28 runs in a three-game sweep of the major-league-worst Oakland Athletics, the Yankees were blanked until Gleyber Torres hit a two-run single in the ninth.

German (2-3) allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three.

–Field Level Media