Meadows, Arozarena homer, AL champ Rays beat Yankees 4-0

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Austin Meadows and Randy Arozarena homered off Domingo Germán, helping the Tampa Bay Rays extend their mastery over the New York Yankees with a 4-0 victory on Saturday.

The Rays have won 10 of 12 regular-season games between the AL East rivals since the start of 2020. Tampa Bay also eliminated the Yankees from last year’s playoffs in a five-game series that went the distance.

Six Tampa Bay pitchers combined to limit the Yankees to five hits.

Meadows got things rolling for the Rays with a solo homer in the first inning, his third of the season. He had three hits in Tampa Bay’s 10-5 win over New York the previous day and has homered three times in eight career at-bats against Germán (0-2).

Arozarena, a rookie who keyed the Rays’ run to the World Series with a breakout post-season , hit a 420-foot solo shot in the third inning for a 4-0 lead. The ALCS MVP hit .377 with 10 homers and 14 RBIs in 20 post-season games last fall.

Andrew Kittredge (2-0) worked 1 2/3 innings to get the win. Rays starter Chris Archer exited with right lateral forearm tightness after allowing three hits and striking out four in 2 1/3 innings.

Archer left the game after yielding a one-out double to DJ LeMahieu with the Rays leading 3-0 in the third inning.

The two-time All-Star, making his first start at Tropicana Field since Tampa Bay traded him to Pittsburgh in July 2018, signed with the Rays as a free agent in February.

The right-hander missed the entire 2020 pandemic-shortened season after undergoing surgery to relieve symptoms of neurorgenic thoracic outlet syndrome.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge returned to the lineup after missing two games due to soreness in his left side. He went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. His fifth-inning single was New York's final hit of the game.

Germán allowed four runs and eight hits in four innings, walking one and striking out five.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: 3B Gio Urshela was back in the lineup after sitting out the series opener due to side effects from a COVID vaccination shot taken Wednesday. “He was a little under the weather along with a couple other guys on our off day,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Everyone is good to go today. Everyone other than Gio was good to go yesterday.”

Rays: OF Manuel Margot (sore groin/quad) remained out of the lineup, but was available to pinch hit. Barring a setback, he’s expected to play Sunday. ... The Rays said Archer will be evaluated further on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Lefty Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 0.00 ERA) starts the finale of the weekend series for the Yankees. He’s 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in six career starts against Tampa Bay. The Rays anticipate right-hander Michael Wacha taking the ball first, with a definitive decision expected after Saturday’s game.

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Fred Goodall, The Associated Press