ST. PETERSBURG – Monday’s 4: 2 loss to Yankees was nothing compared to Rays’ bigger losses in all the drama.
Their two best all-round players, Manuel Margot and Kevin Kiermaier, were injured and are on the injured list. Manager Kevin Cash said Margot is expected to skip a “significant” period of time, initially referred to as a better knee sprain.
“It doesn’t look good,” Cash said.
Margot was injured when he hit hard against the wall of the right field, hunting Aaron Hicks in the ninth shift, which gave the goal. He fell awkwardly, was in obvious pain, and was taken out of the field by cart.
“It’s awful,” said Ray’s starter Shane McClanahan. “I was in the gym when we saw the show, and I could feel the air sucking out.
“We’re just praying. It’s unfortunate and we’re hoping for the best possible news. Manny is the leader of this team. He’s the main contributor. We like what he brings to the field every day. So we all keep him in our thoughts and prayers.”
Kiermaier left after an uncomfortable second round due to left hip inflammation. Cash didn’t have much other information or a timetable for how long he would be out.
“It has bothered him for a while,” Cash said. “The same hip he’s had problems with in the past.”
When Kiermaier and Margot are out, Rays will have three full-time field players Randy Arozarena, Josh Lowe and Brett Phillips, and two part-time players Harold Ramirez and Vidal Brujan, who also play on the field and are not as strong in defense.
On Tuesday, they are expected to call the only outfielders on the Triple-A Durham 40-man list, Luke Raley, and indoor player Jonathan Aranda, which will allow them to use Brujani and / or Ramirez more outdoors.
“It’s unfortunate because (Kiermaier and Margot are) key elements of our club,” Cash said. “I’m sure we just have to put our heads together and find a way to get over it. But it’s pretty frustrating right now.”
Rays (36-31), who dropped to fourth in the playoffs at AL East, are already playing without their two best home shooters, Brandon Lowe and Mike Zunino, and their most dynamic forward, Wander Franco, who could return this weekend. Among others, beginners Luis Patino and Drew Rasmussen and the best mitigators JP Feyereisen and Andrew Kittredge have been left out.
“Unfortunately, injuries are part of this game, but I don’t think it happens every day,” McClanahan said. “It’s been hard. We’ve lost a lot of key people. We just have to keep up with what we’ve done, and it’s coming to the field, putting our head down, trying to make the most of a bad situation.
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They showed up for a while to do it on Monday.
Yankees’ ace-right Gerrit Cole did not hit the eighth shift, hitting 12 and walking three. Rays ended his history offer when Isaac Paredes played the single.
Better yet, they lost the 2-0 lead the Yankees had to Anthony Rizzo of McClanahan, who had another dominant six-inning race, and an undeserved run (45th place in the biggest event) due to Ji-Man Choi’s mistake. .
Paredes’ single, Francisco Mejia’s double-headed double that was relieved by Clay Holmes, and Yandy Diaz’s right-wing jumper won one run. Margot rolling along the third baseline, which Holmes could not play on, got a new one.
It was Holmes’ first race after the opening day, ending a series of franchise records that included 29 points.
But Ray’s reliever Jason Adam gave it back. He promised a single to Josh Donaldson, who chose to leave; Hicks drives to the right, with Margot injured, which turned into an RBI trio; then bag fly to make 4-2.
“Gerrit played a pagan game against us and Holmes is one of the best mitigators in the game right now,” Phillips said. “To be able to hit some hits and run some races, things seemed to be going well. But when it rains, it rains here.
• • •
The Tampa Bay Rays, which hit in New York last week, are back at Tropicana Field tonight to start a three-game series against Yankees.
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