NEW YORK -- Steven Souza Jr. hit two homers and the Rays had five total off Yankees starter Michael Pineda and reliever Nick Goody as Tampa Bay took the final game of a three-game series with an 8-1 victory on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
The first four homers were hit off Pineda, who lasted five innings, allowed 10 hits and struck out nine. Two of the homers were hit in the top of the first inning, two-run shots by Corey Dickerson and Souza, who turned 27 on Sunday. Steve Pearce led off the third with a blast and Souza hit his second with two outs in fifth inning. Logan Forsythe finished the power display with an eighth-inning homer off Goody.
"Offense really came out and set the tone," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "There were some long home runs hit today. Souza, Dickerson, Pearce, the ball Souza hit to right was extremely impressive. You don't see too many right-handers do that. Just a great offensive day, especially in that first inning."
Left-hander Drew Smyly was the beneficiary of all this power as he notched his first win of the season while tossing seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed an RBI double in the fourth to Alex Rodriguez, who later exited with oblique stiffness. Rodriguez underwent an MRI, which came back negative.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Blowing out the candles: Sunday wasn't just another day for Souza, as it was the first time he played in a Major League game on his birthday. The outfielder took advantage of the birthday cheer, smashing the first ball he swung at an estimated 431 feet, according to Statcast™, to expand the Rays' lead to five runs in the first inning. In the fifth inning, Souza struck again, sending a pitch into the second deck, this one estimated at 365 feet. It was Souza's second career multi-homer game, with the first coming on April 6. More >
"It's great. It really is," said Souza, who is from Washington. "I think just playing in Yankee Stadium on my birthday. Growing up you watch the Yankees and the Mariners and the rivalries, so just being here and winning and the two home runs is obviously exciting."
Two out, nobody on: Pineda retired the opening two batters of the game on five pitches and then the Rays unloaded a five-run frame on six hits -- the Dickerson and Souza homers and three doubles.
"He didn't have the movement on [the fastball], he didn't have the cut on it today," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For whatever reason, he didn't have it. Obviously, his slider was pretty good, he had nine strikeouts. The four homers, too? It doesn't make a lot of sense, but the lack of movement on his fastball and lack of location today is what killed him."
A-Rod contributes: Rodriguez came into the game 4-for-28 on the homestand, but he contributed an RBI double off the left-field fence with two outs in the fourth inning. It was his first double and third extra-base hit (also two homers) of the season. Earlier in the game, he struck out for his 19th K in 55 at-bats this season. Dustin Ackley pinch-hit for him in the sixth inning because of the oblique issue.
Smyles all around: Smyly had yet another dominant start, tossing seven strong innings, allowing just one run on six hits, striking out six and walking one. The outing lowered his ERA to 2.51 and resulted in his first win of the season. Smyly came into Sunday's outing on the back of possibly his best career start, when he allowed just one hit in eight scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Tuesday. More >
"Drew Smyly kind of picked up exactly where he left off against Boston his last start," Cash said. "He just commanded the strike zone. He got a lot of chase, a lot of swing and miss."
"From now on in the advance reports I'll make sure I have the birthdates of all of our players." -- Cash, on playing Souza on his birthday just two days after sitting Kevin Kiermaier on his
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: Struggling ace Chris Archer will take the mound for the Rays on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET, looking to notch his first win of the season and lower his uncharacteristically high 7.32 ERA when Tampa Bay opens a series against the O's at Tropicana Field.
Yankees: The Bronx Bombers open a nine-game road trip with a three-game series at Texas against the Rangers beginning Monday at 8:05 p.m. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, looking for his first win of the season, is slated to start. Cole Hamels was a late scratch with a strained groin and the Rangers will instead send Cesar Ramos to the mound.