By MARK DIDTLER
The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Luis Patiño outpitched Gerrit Cole, Brett Phillips hit a grand slam during a 10-run sixth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a three-game sweep by routing the New York Yankees 14-0 on Thursday.
Patiño (2-2) allowed three hits in six innings. The 21-year-old right-hander, acquired in the trade that sent Blake Snell to San Diego last December, struck out eight and walked two.
“Today was a marvelous day for me,” Patiño said through a translator. “I felt good since I got here, even in the bullpen I felt pretty good right from the get-go. My pitches felt really good and I thought it was a very beautiful outing.”
Cole (10-6) gave up a season-high eight runs — seven earned — on six hits over 5 1/3 innings and saw his ERA jump from 2.74 to 3.11. He had 10 strikeouts and two walks.
“Sweeps are tough,” Cole said. “In respect to this series, this one is on me.”
Austin Meadows homered twice and drove in five runs for the Rays. Louis Head and Ryan Sherriff completed a four-hitter.
The Yankees began the day 8 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East. The Rays trailed the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games.
“Clearly we have a little bit of an uphill battle,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve got to play really good baseball the final two months of the season to give ourselves a chance to get into the dance. But there’s no question in my mind, we get hot at the right time, that we’re capable of not only playing with but beating anyone in the sport.”
Before the game, New York acquired slugger Joey Gallo, left-hander Joely Rodriguez and cash from Texas for four minor leaguers.
Both are expected to join the team for tonight’s game at Miami.
Cole departed after left fielder Brett Gardner dropped Kevin Kiermaier’s drive to deep left in the sixth, allowing two runs to score.
Albert Abreu entered and allowed Phillips’ slam and two-run homers by Ji-Man Choi and Meadows. All six batters Abreu faced scored.
“First of all, innings like that, games like that are few and far between,” Phillips said. “That’s what makes baseball so fun right there.”
All nine batters in the Rays’ lineup reached base in the sixth. It was the biggest scoring inning by Tampa Bay since a 10-run fifth at Miami on June 5, 2008.
It was the most lopsided shutout win ever by the Rays.
Brandon Lowe drove Cole’s first pitch in the first inning down the right field line near the pole. It was ruled a homer, but the umpires gathered and changed it to a foul ball, which brought Rays manager Kevin Cash onto the field. After talking with Cash, the umpires opted for a video review that found the drive was foul.
Lowe then reached on an infield single and later scored. Meadows’ three-run drive completed a four-run inning.
Cole, who’s 1-6 against the Rays in the regular season, then retired 16 of 17 before Meadows had a one-out single in the sixth.
WHAT GOES UP DOESN’T ALWAYS COME DOWN: Randy Arozarena hit a high foul ball off Cole just behind the plate in the third inning that got stuck on an overhanging structure at Tropicana Field. Cole, catcher Kyle Higashioka and Arozarena all had looks of confusion as they looked up for the ball.
STANTON ON DEFENSE: Boone continues to consider having designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton make his season debut in the outfield during this weekend’s interleague series at Miami. He didn’t rule out using an outfield of Stanton, Gallo and Aaron Judge.
Stanton went 1 for 10 with six strikeouts in the series, including three strikeouts in three at-bats Thursday.