The Yankees hit the Rays again.
The Rays punched the Yankees in the mouth.
The ongoing beanball war between the rivals mostly paused Friday and the fight never got started because the Rays did exactly what they promised to do before the game on the way to an 8-2 victory at Yankee Stadium.
“The way we always handle things is on the field,” shortstop Willy Adames said. “We came here to do what we do best: Win games.”
Since 2018, the Yankees have hit 31 Rays players with pitches. The Rays have hit 17 Yankees. The Yankees have 27 head-to-head wins. The Rays have 30.
When the teams met last weekend in St. Peterburg, Fla., Yankees pitchers hit four batters while the Rays hit one. Frustrations ran high after the Rays won two of three in the series and that was supposed to set the stage for a tense mid-April rematch.
Instead, the Rays’ bats did the talking Friday and journeyman Michael Wacha turned back the clock to 2015 by throwing strikes, not message-pitches.
“Our guys are pros. I thought the focus needed to be, ‘Let’s find a way to win a ball game,’ ” manager…