Evan Longoria hit solo homers his first three times up against the Orioles before grounding out in his fourth and final at-bat in the Rays’ 4-1 victory Wednesday.
Longoria entered with 14 homers in 73 games this season. He took Chris Tillman deep in the first and fourth innings tonight and then delivered again versus Jake Arrieta in the sixth. He came up in the eighth with a chance to become the 17th major leaguer to hit four homers in a game, but he rolled out to third.
Longoria also homered twice against the Yankees in the last game of 2011, so he seems to have a thing for season finales. The Rays should tell him next year to play every game like it’s his last.
The Red Sox-Yankees game scheduled for this afternoon has been moved to this evening because of weather, but there are still happenings in the Bronx: the Yankees have called up top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.
Sheffield, 22, is the Yankees’ highest-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The lefty was acquired in the Andrew Miller deal back in 2016. In 2018 he made the jump from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a cumulative 7-6 record in 20 starts and a 2.87 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 116 innings.
The Yankees reportedly plan is to keep Sheffield in the bullpen for the time being, with his late season shift to a relief role at Scranton designed to get him used to helping out for the Yankees stretch run and, possibly, a playoff run. He’ll likely have a shot at the Yankees’ rotation next spring.