Rays go for sweep against the Yankees

The Tampa Bay Rays are red hot if you call a two-game winning streak against the hated New York Yankees a winning streak.

Some home cooking was what the Rays needed to get this offense going and start putting sooner runs on the board. That’s what the Rays have done the first two games of their series with the Yankees.

The Rays have battered Yankees pitching so far in the first two outscoring the Yankees 14-5 and outhitting the Bronx bombers 23-12 in winning the first two games of this series 10-5 and 4-0.

Chris Archer made his first start for the Rays Saturday afternoon and left the game in the third inning with elbow tightness. Archer left the game after throwing 42 pitches and striking out four over two and a third innings. After the game, the Rays put Archer on the 10-day disabled list.

After Archer’s exit, the Rays then turned it over to the bullpen, who promptly shut down the Yankees the rest of the way, allowing the Yankees two hits over the final six innings.

Austin Meadows hit his third home run of the season, and Randy Arozarena hit his first. Arozarena is a ROY of the candidate and was three for five on the afternoon to raise his batting average to .333

The bigger surprise offensively for the Rays has been the hitting of catcher Francisco Meija who went one for three while driving in a run. Meija is hitting .308 on the season with three runs batted in.

The Rays will go for the sweep of the Yankees Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field. The Rays have already won the series from New York and have now won six straight series against the Yankees, including last year’s ALCS series.

Brent Honeywell Jr. will finally make his long-awaited Major League debut Sunday afternoon. Honeywell has been hampered by some major injuries the last two seasons and will make his big league debut against New York.

Honeywell had one outing during spring training on March 22, when he started an exhibition game and worked one inning against the Boston Red Sox.

Honeywell last pitched competitively in a game on September 19, 2017 at AAA Durham.

Honeywell was called up to the Rays after Archer was placed on the DL. Honeywell will serve as the opener in the game Sunday and will pitch just an inning or two. Michael Wacha is expected to pitch following Honeywell.

Archer’s next start is scheduled for Thursday. With Archer on the DL, look for Josh Fleming or Trevor Richards to start for the Rays in Archer’s spot.

—Outfielder Manuel Margot is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday Afternoon. Margot has missed the last two games with a tweaked groin.

—Following the Yankees series, the Rays will host the Texas Rangers before embarking on a six-game road trip that will take the Rays to New York and Kansas City.

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