Rays roar back with six in eighth, trail Yankees 7-6

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The Rays finally got to the Yankees’ eighth and ninth pitchers of the night.

After being held to two hits over seven scoreless innings, the Rays came back with six runs off Boone Logan and Luis Ayala in the bottom of the eighth tonight.  Evan Longoria’s three-run homer was the big blast.

The Rays also scored twice without hits: Ayala walked Sam Fuld with the bases loaded and then plunked Sean Rodriguez for another run.

For some reason, Joe Girardi left Ayala in to finish the inning.  Except for starter Dellin Betances, who faced nine batters, none of the Yankees’ eight pitchers had faced more than five batters.  That is until the terribly ineffective Ayala got to face seven.

Maybe Girardi hates the Red Sox, too.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.