Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier, in a July 2018 game. Photo credit: D. Benjamin Miller, via Wikimedia Commons

The Tampa Bay Rays, with three home runs, defeated the New York Yankees 8-4 in Game 3 of their Division Series at Petco Park.

The win gives the Rays a 2-1 edge in the best-of-five series going into Thursday’s Game 4.

Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier put the Rays ahead 4-1 in the fourth inning with a three-run homer. Left fielder Randy Arozarena followed with a solo shot in the fifth.

The Rays padded their lead to 8-2 in the sixth, with a two-run homer from catcher Michael Perez with Kiermaier aboard. First baseman Ji-Man Choi followed with a double to drive in Arozarena.

Yankee designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton continued his mastery at Petco, hitting a home run in the eighth to narrow the gap to 8-4. Overall, Stanton’s hitting .417 this post-season with six home runs.

Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up five runs over four innings, took the loss. Charlie Morton pitched five for the win.

Game 4 begins at 4:10 p.m. Thursday. Petco Park is playing host to the series as part of baseball’s plan to use neutral sites in the playoffs due to the pandemic.

– Staff reports

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