Yankees Finally Get Past Rays With Four-Run 10th

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rougned Odor is looking ahead, not to the past.

The newest addition to the Yankees wants to help his new team be successful. It didn’t take him long to contribute to a win.

“It was great, feels really good,” the infielder said after his first hit for his new team snapped a 10th-inning tie and the Yankees rallied Sunday to avoid a weekend sweep with an 8-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 27-year-old second baseman was in the lineup for the first time after being acquired from Texas in a trade last week. He said he doesn’t feel pressure to prove he can play after being designated for assignment by the Rangers.

“I just try to be myself, just try to play the game the way I play the game all the time, trying to bring that energy I have to the team,” said Odor, his face cleanly shaven after sporting a scruffy beard for years in Texas. “That’s what I did today, and it really feels good.”

Gio Urshela homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees, which won for only the third time in its past 13 regular season meetings with the Rays. Tampa Bay also ousted their A.L. East rivals from the playoffs on the way to winning the A.L. pennant last season.

“You’ve got to be able to turn the page in this game. You know you’re going to take your lumps every now and then, even when you’re a really good ball club,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

“A tough couple of first games here,” Boone added. “I thought it was a good job of turning the page and coming out and playing some winning baseball.”

Urshela hit a two-run homer in the third inning. His career-tying high fourth hit of the day, a two-out single in the 10th off Collin McHugh (0-1), helped the Yankees put away the Rays, who were on the verge of completing a three-game sweep before giving up a tying run in the eighth.

Odor was 0 for 4 before singling to center on a 3-2 pitch to break a 4-4 tie.

Before Sunday’s game, the Yankees announced that they had traded infielder Thairo Estrada to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for cash considerations. Estrada, 25, spent parts of the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Yankees. He had originally signed with the team as an amateur free agent in 2012.

Marcus Stroman criticized the Mets for starting Sunday’s game against the Miami Marlins in a steady rain. Stroman’s outing lasted just nine pitches before play was stopped, and the game was suspended after a wait of 2 hours 10 minutes, to be continued as part of a day-night doubleheader on Aug. 31.

“This game should have never been started. Not smart at all,” Stroman tweeted during the delay. “Those conditions put everyone at risk. Beyond happy no players on either side were injured. Hate that I have to wait another 5 days to pitch again. That’s a miserable feeling.”

The Mets, known for confusion at times under the Wilpon and Katz families, were bought during the off-season by hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, who brought back Sandy Alderson as team president.

Play began at 1:10 p.m. and was halted by plate umpire D.J. Reyburn after seven minutes. Home teams decide whether to start games. Once a game has begun, umpires decide whether to stop play because of bad weather.

“That’s how Stro is, is outspoken. He’s open, talking and he says what he feels,” Mets Manager Luis Rojas said. “He did not share anything this morning. He gets ready. He was doing his routine. He was just waiting for the communication, whether we were going to start on time or not.”

Rojas said Mets ballpark operations staff consulted with weather services, and he was the one who told Stroman the game was starting on time. Stroman was not made available to reporters after his brief outing.

There were about 1,000 fans in the seats when the game began, and by the time Jesus Aguilar of the Marlins walked up to the batter’s box, the infield dirt was shiny and slick from water. The game was stopped after a pair of splitters in the dirt left a 2-0 count on Aguilar.

“The field got out of hand quick,” Marlins Manager Don Mattingly said. “If they thought it was going to be like that, I don’t think they would have started.”

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