Things heated up late Sunday afternoon in St Petersburg.
Yet the Tampa Bay Rays, despite clearing out the seats twice in their 7-4 win over the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field, don’t take it too personally.
“We don’t have to worry about that. We need to focus on what we need to do in the long term.
The benches and bullpens were cleared twice in the eighth inning, though no punches were thrown and things remained relatively quiet, considering the conditions. The incident erupted after Tampa player Randy Aruzarena was hit by a pitch from Albert Abreu. Several players had to be held back, though eventually coaches and officials cleared the field and play resumed.
Then, after Arosarina stole second and third, he started yelling at Abreu on the hill. This led to a second clearing.
Arozarena was one of four Rays players to have a ground hit in Sunday’s game. Arozarena was hit twice by the Yankees in the May game as well, including once by Abreu.
“I think it was intentional,” Arosarina said through an interpreter. Via Associated Press. “If you look at the previous series, he hit me before. I had been beaten in the previous series before that. They hit Yandy (Diaz) the other day, and they hit (Isaac) Paredes in the head, so I think maybe it was a problem for them.”
Abreu denied that he had intentionally hit Arosarina.
The game was just the latest example of a struggling season for the Yankees. The loss dropped the Yankees to 62-68 on the season, marking their lowest point under . 500. The team hasn’t finished with a losing record in 30 seasons, and it hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2016. The Yankees haven’t won a series in their last nine games. They are last in the Mideast, and are 11 complete games short of last Wild Card spot in the MLS.
The Rays, on the other hand, are just two games away from the leading Baltimore Orioles in the Middle East, and six games in the AL Wild Card race. Lowe hit a home run in the first inning, which followed Arozarena’s run. Harold Ramírez hit an RBI single in the sixth inning, and Lowe followed with an RBI single — putting the Rays up 6–4 at the time. Lowe then hit an RBI double in the eighth to score on Arozarena, giving them a three-run win.
The Rays will play two games against the Miami Marlins before heading to Cleveland for a three-game series against the Guardians on Friday. Although tensions flared Monday, the Yankees and Rice will almost certainly have to wait until next season to sort out their issues.