NEW YORK — — Josh Lowe drove in a career-high five runs, Drew Rasmussen extended his scoreless streak against the Yankees to 21 innings and the Tampa Bay Rays kept up their domination of New York with an 8-2 rout on Thursday night.
Lowe hit a three-run double off Ron Marinaccio to open a 4-0 lead in the sixth, then hit a two-run homer in a three-run eighth against Ryan Weber. The 435-foot drive over the Yankees bullpen in right-center was Lowe’s eighth home run this season.
Tampa Bay won the opener of the four-game series and improved to 3-1 against New York this season. The Rays are a major league-best 30-9 and dropped the last-place Yankees nine games back in the AL East.
Rasmussen (4-2) allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings with no walks and seven strikeouts, including Aaron Judge three times.
Jake Diekman, signed this week after his release from the Chicago White Sox, pitched a hitless eighth in his Rays debut. Javy Guerra allowed a two-run single to Gleyber Torres with two outs in the ninth and finished a four-hitter.
Tampa Bay has scored the most runs (239) in the big leagues and allowed the fewest (118).
Rays shortstop Wander Franco was removed in the middle of the fifth inning with a spasm and tightness on the right side of his neck.
Domingo Germán (2-3) fell behind in the fifth when first baseman Anthony Rizzo allowed Lowe’s grounder to bounce off his glove for an error and Yandy Díaz hit a two-out RBI double.
After going 1 for 20 with runners in scoring position while losing two of three at Baltimore, the Rays were 0 for 4 with RISP before a double by Lowe, their No. 8 hitter, off the base of the wall in right-center.
Germán gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.
After scoring 28 runs in a three-game sweep of woeful Oakland, the Yankees provide any runs behind Germán for his the second straight start.
Jake Bauers had a pair singles for New York, which failed to get a runner past first in the first eight innings.
Yankees: Selected the contract of RHP Ryan Weber from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and transferred RHP Jonathan Loáisiga (right elbow inflammation) to the 60-day IL.
Rays: LHP Tyler Glasnow (oblique) was cleared to make his next minor league injury rehabilitation appearance Tuesday.
Yankees: Bauers appeared to reinjure his right knee making a sliding catch in left field against Lowe in the ninth. He hurt the knee crashing into the wall at Texas in his Yankees debut on April 29. … LHP Carlos Rodón, sidelined spring training by a strained left forearm, will likely resume throwing on Saturday, five days after receiving a back injection. … 3B Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring) could resume a rehab assignment next week. He hasn’t played for the Yankees since April 5 and cut short his previous rehab after one game on April 18. … C Ben Rortvedt (left shoulder aneurysm surgery) was activated from the 10-day IL and optioned to Scranton, where he was rehabbing.
RHP Gerrit Cole (5-0), who failed to hold a six-run lead at Tampa Bay last week, starts Friday against LHP Josh Fleming (0-0) or an opener.
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