Walls, Choi hit homers, Tampa Bay Rays outperform NY Yankees 4-2
May 30, 2022
The Tampa Bay Rays walked out its home turf at Tropicana Field defeating the visiting team New York Yankees 4-2 on Sunday, May 29.
Baseman Taylor Walls and designated hitter Ji-Man Choi were the Rays’ centerpiece behind their win over the Yankees.
Both teams started Sunday’s matchup strong, but the visiting Yankees had difficulties registering more points halfway through the game. New York only managed one early game and another one much later.
Walls, Choi hit home runs for Rays
Both Walls and Choi each smacked a home run for Tampa Bay. The duo also was responsible for the Rays’ two only hits in the game. In the seventh inning, Tampa Bay wrapped their game dominance with four walks and a batter hit. In the following inning, New York scored one.
The 25-year-old Walls made his home run when Yankees pitcher Luis Severino threw a fastball for a 2-1 lead in the fifth. Walls had demonstrated a great defensive play from the second to the end of the eighth inning. Running on the third, the baseman dived to grab New York centerfielder Aaron Hicks’ grounder, which led to Hicks stepping out.
Walls also managed a double inning-ending play from the third base on the grounder of Yankees’ shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
“If we don’t make those plays it could be a different ballgame. The momentum goes to their side, not ours,” Walls said
“There was no shade thrown at them when I said that. I think that comment got blown way out of proportion. All I meant is that the Tampa Bay Rays can play and beat any team in this league. I don’t speak for just this team, I think everybody around the league knows that as well. Any day of the week, any team can be beat, so that’s all I meant by that comment.”
When Severino walked to bat for his first two in the seventh, Rays shortstop Wander Franco and Choi struck out on fellow teammate left fielder Manuel Margot who was then replaced by Yankees pitcher Ron Marinaccio.
Marinaccio’s entry marked a forced run after he walked five pitches each on both Walls and pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez. The Rays would take a 4-1 lead when Marinaccio hit catcher Mike Zunino just below his left shoulder, the first-pitch slider had New York trailed three points behind Tampa Bay.
“You’ve got to make ’em beat you, and today we didn’t do that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
“Obviously they can pitch. Yesterday we got shut down. Today I thought we were very competitive against McClanahan. We just couldn’t get that hit or that gapper or something that turned it into a good offensive day.”
South Korean professional Choi had his fourth home run this year. He smacked the ball which was sent to the left of the field.
“Right now the ball feels a lot different from last year. It doesn’t go as far as it used to,” Choi said translated.
Tampa Bay pitcher Shane McClanahan registered the most numbers for the franchise’s pitcher lineup. He made seven strikeouts with zero walks and only allowed seven hits in six total innings. McClanahan praised Walls who made two at-bats, one each on run, hit, and RBI.
“A lot of great plays behind me, first of all,” McClanahan said. “Taylor Walls, what a day that guy had!”