Brandon Lowe hit three-run homers in consecutive at-bats and added a solo shot in the seventh inning as the Tampa Bay Rays cruised to a 12-2 rout of the host New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon.
New York (91-70) has a magic number of one to clinch a playoff berth. If the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners lose their respective games later on Saturday, the Yankees will clinch at least the second wild-card spot in the American League.
By losing to Tampa Bay for the seventh time in nine home games this year, the Yankees were unable to clinch the first wild card. New York needed to win and a loss by the Boston Red Sox to secure home-field advantage in the play-in game.
Lowe ensured the Yankees would not have any clarity on their playoff status by hitting his 37th, 38th and 39th homers of the season.
The second baseman became the fifth Ray to hit three homers in a game and the first since Travis d’Arnaud on July 15, 2019, also against the Yankees in New York.
Lowe gave the Rays a 3-0 lead with two outs in the first by lining an 0-1 fastball from Jordan Montgomery (6-7) into the seats in right field. He then made it 6-1 with one out in the third when he lined a 2-2 fastball into the first row of the seats in right field.
Lowe hit his third homer when he opened the seventh with a drive to right off Michael King. He missed a chance at a fourth homer when he grounded out in the eighth.
Mike Zunino also connected off Montgomery as the Rays (100-61) reached the century mark for the first time in team history.
Austin Meadows added a three-run homer as Tampa Bay tied its season high with 19 hits.
Randy Arozarena stole two bases in the sixth and scored on a single by Wander Franco. Arozarena had three hits and reached five times.
Anthony Rizzo homered and Gio Urshela had an RBI for the Yankees, who are 15-19 since their 13-game winning streak Aug. 14-27.
Montgomery tied a career high by allowing seven runs on six hits in a season-low 2 2/3 innings.
Tampa Bay rookie Shane Baz allowed one run on one hit in 2 2/3 innings in his third career start. After J.P. Feyereisen stopped New York’s only threat, Luis Patino (5-3) pitched two hitless frames.
–Field Level Media