Former Tiger Brad Miller Homers as Rays Complete Sweep, 5-3 Over Yankees

Brad Miller High Five

Tampa Bay Rays’ Brad Miller high-fives teammates in the dugout after his home run off New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 31, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays had some success at the expense of the sliding New York Yankees.

Rookie left-hander Blake Snell struck out nine over 5 1/3 innings, Luke Maile had a key two-run single and the Rays completed a three-game sweep by beating the Yankees 5-3 on Sunday.

Snell (3-4) allowed two runs and five hits, several hours after the Yankees traded All-Star reliever Andrew Miller to Cleveland for touted outfielder Clint Frazier and three others. New York had sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs on Monday in a five-player deal.

“I just feel more confidence, I guess,” Snell said. “Nothing really changed. I’ve just to get better and keep focusing on the little things that’ll make me better.”

Tampa Bay tied its season-high with a four-game winning streak. The Rays are 8-5 since losing 24 of 27.

“It feels good to get back on a nice little run here,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “To finish off a sweep, we played really good baseball this weekend and it shows with the amount of wins we got.”

After winning eight of 10, New York lost its fourth straight game and fell to .500 at 52-52.

“We have no one to blame but ourselves,” Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez said. “We knew what was at stake and we just didn’t get it done.”

Maile made it 5-2 in the sixth with a bases-loaded, two-run single after Michael Pineda (5-10) issued a two-out intentional walk to Nick Franklin.

“It was probably the worst slider he threw all day,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Brad Miller put the Rays ahead 3-0 with a solo homer in the fifth that hit off netting covering a tank with live rays in center field.

Alex Colome got three outs for his 25th save.

Carlos Beltran tied Darrell Evans for 51st place on the career home-run list at 414 with a two-run drive in the sixth that cut the Yankees’ deficit to 3-2. Beltran is one run from joining Rodriguez and Albert Pujols as the only active players to have at least 1,500 RBIs and 1,500 runs.

“Honestly, for me, it’s out of my hands what might happen,” said Beltran, who also could be dealt. “I’m not going to think about it.”


Yankees: GM Brian Cashman said OF Mason Williams left his game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Saturday night with a quadriceps injury.

Rays: OF Desmond Jennings (strained left hamstring) could return in the next few days.


Rodriguez was back on the bench after striking out in all four at-bats Saturday night as the designated hitter. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth, extending his slump to 2 for 27 slump. A-Rod has not started seven of New York’s last eight games.


Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (6-8) and New York Mets RHP Logan Verrett (3-6) are the scheduled starters Monday night in the opener of a two-game interleague series at Citi Field.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (5-14), who leads the majors in losses, goes against Kansas City LHP Danny Duffy (6-1) Monday night. Archer, 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA in four road starts against the Royals, will face Kansas City at home for the first time.

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