New York Yankees load bases in 9th inning, but Rays rookie pitcher Adam Kolarek escapes for 3-1 win

WFTSPublished: August 17, 2018
Published: August 17, 2018

As he jogged from the bullpen, Tampa Bay rookie left-hander Adam Kolarek reminded himself that he's pitched out of bases-loaded, no-out situations before. Kolarek escaped a critical jam in the ninth inning Thursday for his first career save, lifting the Rays over New York 3-1 to win their first series at Yankee Stadium since 2014. Tampa Bay had lost 12 straight series in the Bronx, a record since the ballpark opened in 2009. Kolarek got his moment in the Bronx spotlight after Sergio Romo struggled in the ninth. Romo allowed consecutive singles to Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres -- Torres' bloop ended his 0-for-17 skid -- then walked Neil Walker on four pitches. Cash then called for the side-arming Kolarek. Lefty-hitting Greg Bird popped out in foul territory on his first pitch, and then the 29-year-old Kolarek -- who entered with a 6.00 ERA -- struck out veterans Brett Gardner and Austin Romine. Romine chased a high fastball clocked at 95 mph. It was the first time Kolarek had faced bases loaded with no outs in his big league career. He escaped in nine pitches.

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