Sunday afternoon the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays wrapped up their weekend and season series at Tropicana Field. The Rays rallied in the middle innings against the Yankees bullpen to take the series finale (TB 7, NY 4) and extend New York's free fall. The Yankees are now 1-12-3 in their last 16 series.
Albert Abreu's first pitch hit Randy Arozarena squarely in the ribs. It was the fourth Tampa batter hit in the game and the sixth of the three-game series. Understandably, Arozarena was not happy, and benches cleared after he and Abreu exchanged words.and it flared up again in the eighth inning Sunday after
Here is the kerfuffle., no actual punches were thrown:
Once the two teams were separated, Arozarena did what you would expect him to do: he stole second and third. He and Abreu again had words following the steal of third base, and the benches again cleared. No punches were thrown this time either.
Abreu is not blessed with good control -- he's walked 13.3% of the batters he's faced this season -- though Sunday was the second time he's hit Arozarena this season, and the third Rays player he's hit this year overall. If you keep plunking players on the same team, that team is not going to be happy. At a certain point intend doesn't matter.
Arozarena and the Rays got the last laugh with the win -- Arozarena eventually scored on Brandon Lowe's ringing double against Abreu -- which inched them to within two games of the Baltimore Orioles for the AL East lead. The Colorado Rockies did Tampa a solid with Sunday's game-winning rally against Yennier Cano (COL 4, BAL 3).
This weekend's three-game set in Tropicana Field was final Yankees vs. Rays series of 2023. Tampa won the season series 8-5. Unless the Yankees make an improbable run to the postseason, these two AL East rivals won't see each other again until next April.