Rays Continue Their Domination of Struggling Yankees

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Brandon Lowe hit a two-run double in the first inning off opener Nick Nelson, and the Tampa Bay Rays kept up their domination of the Yankees with an 8-2 win Friday night that set off frustrated fans who caused a brief interruption.

Tampa Bay arrived in New York with eight defeats in 11 games and had not held a lead in 25 innings. The young, athletic Rays spurted to an 8-0, seventh-inning lead and beat the Yankees for the 16th time in their last 21 meetings, including during last year’s division series.

The Yankees dropped to 5-8 and managed a triple crown of failed pitching, hitting and fielding. The Yankees walked seven Rays, had just three hits, struck out 14 times and made three errors that led to three unearned runs.

The game was stopped for about 2 minutes 15 seconds with Clint Frazier batting in the bottom of the eighth when about a half-dozen balls were thrown on the field from the pandemic-limited crowd of 10,202 on a cool, breezy night with a 45-degree temperature at game time.

Michael Wacha (1-1) lowered his E.R.A. from 7.00 to 4.20, allowing one hit in six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and two walks.

Frazier was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and has no R.B.I. in 63 plate appearances this year. Aaron Hicks was 0 for 3, dropping to 2 for 26 (.077) left-handed this season. And A.L. batting champion D.J. LeMahieu was 0 for 4, ending his 23-game regular-season hitting streak against the Rays.

Third baseman Gio Urshela allowed Willy Adames’ grounder to bounce off his glove for a run-scoring error in the four-run fifth, and second baseman Rougned Odor threw past first on what should have been an inning-ending double play grounder by Randy Arozarena, allowing two more runs.

Nelson (0-2) was no more effective than the previous time manager Aaron Boone used an opener, when Deivi García started Game 2 last year against the Rays and was followed by J.A. Happ in a 7-5 loss.

Gerrit Cole, who starts Sunday’s series finale, is 2-0 with a 1.47 E.R.A., allowing three runs in 18⅓ innings over three appearances. The rest of New York’s starters are 1-5 with a 6.45 E.R.A., giving up 27 runs in 37⅔ innings.

Tampa Bay had runners in each of the first six innings. Mike Zunino added a two-run double, one four soft hits in the sixth off Lucas Luetge, who fired his glove at the bench when he reached the dugout.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Trevor Richards.

Friday’s game between the Colorado Rockies and Mets was postponed because of a spring snowstorm that blanketed the Denver area overnight.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday, with the first game to start at 3:10 p.m. local time. Both games are set for seven innings.

The Mets are old hands at postponements. Their finale of the four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday was rained out, the team’s third washout in five days.

Adding the season-opening three-game series at Washington that was put off because of a coronavirus outbreak among the Nationals, the Mets have played a major league-low eight games.

Two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (0-1, 0.64 E.R.A.), whose start was postponed on successive days because of inclement weather, is scheduled to start the first game of the doubleheader. He will face Colorado’s Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0, 3.60 E.R.A.)

The Mets’ Joey Lucchesi (0-0, 0.00 E.R.A.) is slated to start the nightcap against German Marquez (0-1, 4.02 E.R.A).

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