SAN DIEGO (AP) — Manager Kevin Cash and the Tampa Bay Rays introduced the concept of an opener to modern baseball two years ago.
With a chance to close out the AL Division Series, they were bitten by their own creation.
The Rays fell behind in the second inning of Game 4 and never caught up after rookie opener Ryan Thompson gave up two hits, three walks and two runs over 1 2/3 innings in just his second career start.
New York kept Randy Arozarena in the ballpark after the 25-year-old Cuban homered in each of the first three games. Likewise, the Rays ended Giancarlo Stanton’s franchise-record run of homering in five straight games but he did double. Stanton hit four homers in the first three games of this series and had six total in the first five postseason games.
Chad Green, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman combined for five hitless innings of relief, retiring 15 of the last 16 batters. Green pitched two perfect innings for the win, and Chapman got four outs for his first save of this postseason. He struck out Arozarena on a 101 mph sinker to end the eighth.
Montgomery went four innings in his first appearance since Sept. 24, holding the Rays to one run and three hits while striking out four and walking three. He struck out Arozarena in the first and retired the breakout star on a grounder in the fourth.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the third but got just one run, on Brandon Lowe’s fielder’s choice.
It was a much better start than Montgomery had against the Rays at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 2, when he was pulled after allowing four runs and five hits on 39 pitches, and getting only two outs.
Yankees: Cole is 2-0 in the postseason. The Yankees will be the visiting team.
Rays: Will start Tyler Glasnow who won Tuesday’s Game 2.