Yoshi Tsutsugo sends Tampa Bay Rays past reeling New York Yankees

Apr 18, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino (10) heads home to score the tying run against the New York Yankees in the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a tiebreaking double with one out in the seventh inning off Gerrit Cole, lifting the visiting Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-2 victory over the struggling New York Yankees on Sunday afternoon.

The Rays completed their fourth sweep of at least three games of the Yankees in New York. It was their second sweep in the last three series in New York after Tampa Bay accomplished the feat twice in the previous 51 road series of at least three games.

Cole (2-1) retired 13 straight hitters before Joey Wendle scorched a single up the middle. Three pitches later, Tsutsugo laced a 1-1 changeup to to the warning track in right-center field, allowing Wendle to score standing up from first.

Yandy Diaz hit an RBI single and Manuel Margot added a sacrifice fly in the third for the Rays, who are 15-3 in the past 18 regular-season meetings. Including their win in the American League Division Series, the Rays are 18-5 in the past 23 games with the Yankees.

Wendle added a homer in the ninth inning off Darren O’Day.

Giancarlo Stanton homered in the second inning and DJ LeMahieu hit a game-tying RBI single in the fifth, but the Yankees dropped to 5-10 — their worst 15-game start since 1997. New York also lost its fifth straight and dropped to 2-8 in its past 10 games while hearing boos in the later innings from the limited capacity crowd of 10,606.

After Andrew Kittredge opened the game by allowing Stanton’s homer over 1 2/3 innings, Ryan Yarbrough (1-2) allowed a run on two hits in five frames. Throwing mostly cutters and changeups, Yarbrough struck out four, walked two and improved to 24-5 as a reliever.

Diego Castillo retired LeMahieu to end the seventh inning with a runner on and then fanned Aaron Judge and Stanton in a hitless eighth. Jeffrey Springs needed 12 pitches in a perfect ninth for his first career save.

Cole allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 10 for his 40th career regular-season double-digit strikeout game, but fell to 0-4 in eight career regular-season starts against the Rays.

–Field Level Media