Winning three in a row was just too much ask, I suppose. The Yankees used a familiar script to lose to the Rays on Friday night, taking a lead early before giving it back and putting together a late-rally that fell just short. Let’s recap…
- The Lead: The Yankees managed to get on the scoreboard first, with a second inning single from Steve Pearce that plated Russell Martin with two outs. That little flare to shallow center all but guarantees that Pearce will continue to get regular at-bats against lefties these next two weeks. For shame.
- Four Losses: For the first time since he signed in New York, the Yankees have lost four straight CC Sabathia starts. The left-hander turned in another underwhelming performance, which again featured a blown lead (just the one run though) and four runs in 6.2 innings. Know what the worst part is? Sabathia threw first pitch strikes to 25 of 29 (!!!) hitters, which is just insane. Off-the-charts good. Yet the Rays still tagged him for six hits and two walks. CC just has to be better. There’s no other way to put it. They’re going nowhere without him.
- Fight Back: The Yankees did not go quietly into the night after Tampa took the lead, getting a run back on Curtis Granderson’s solo homer in the fifth (off the top off the right-center field wall) and two back on Alex Rodriguez two-run shot in the eighth. David Price has allowed just three homers to lefties this season, and two have been by Granderson. The other was hit by Robinson Cano. A-Rod’s shot was a no-doubter off Joel Peralta, hitting the facing of the second deck in right.
- Leftovers: Eduardo Nunez made some very nice defensive plays early in the game, including two ranging into the hole to his right. Then he whiffed on a routine ground ball with two outs in the ninth that led to an insurance run … speaking of bad defense, this won’t be one for the Russell Martin highlight reel. He let three balls get by him (two were called wild pitches, but one of those went right though his legs) and Tampa stole three bases in three attempts … Derek Jeter (two singles) was the only Yankee with multiple hits, though A-Rod (homer and walk) reached twice as well … the Rays scored six runs in this game after scoring six runs total while getting swept in Baltimore over the weekend … Jerry Meals got in the way of a would-be double (it was a single instead), the second time in a week he’s screwed something up and cost the Yankees in some way.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights while ESPN has the updated standings. The Orioles are out on the West Coast
and if they beat the Athletics they’ll have sole possession of and they lost to the Athletics so they’re still tied with New York for first place in the AL East. The Rays are three back. The Yankees will look to get back into the win column on Saturday afternoon when Ivan Nova makes what I hope is a triumphant return to the rotation. He’ll be opposed by Jamie Shields. Check out RAB Tickets for some last-minute deals if you want to catch the game.