The Yankees lost 4-3 in 12 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. The Rays (36-49) currently have the worst record in the American League.
The Yankees have lost seven of their last nine games, but they have managed to only lose one game in the standings over those nine games based on how much the other teams in the American League East have also been struggling. The Rays continued their recent winning ways as they won their third consecutive game and have won seven of their past 10 games.
Joe Girardi thinks that the first half of the season could have been better, but he will take only being 2.5 games out at the midway point considering all of the injuries. “It’s been up and down,” Girardi said. “We have had out issues like a lot of teams in the division. You wouldn’t think we would be right in it at 41-40, but we are.”
David Phelps only allowed two runs in his 5.2 innings pitched, which was much better than his last start when the Toronto Blue Jays scored six runs off of him in five innings pitched. Phelps give up four hits and three walks while striking out four. However, the Yankees lost because the offense did not come through for the team once again.
The offense had nine hits in 11 innings, but they were 0-7 with runners in scoring position, including Brian McCann who was 0-2, and the team left eight runners on base. When asked how he would describe the first half of his season McCann said it was, “horrible.”
Tampa Bay scored their first two runs off of homers. Matt Joyce hit a solo homer to right center in the first, and Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run to right center in the third.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees answered back with two runs of their own. Brett Gardner hit a triple to right that scored Ichiro Suzuki for the first run. Derek Jeter’s ground out to second scored Gardner from third to tie the score. After Jacoby Ellsbury stole second, Tampa starter Chris Archer got both Mark Teixeira and McCann out to prevent another run from scoring. Gardner already has 31 RBIs, which is only 21 less than his career-high of 52.
Archer limited the Yankees to only those two runs in his seven innings pitched. He struck out four, and the 25-year-old righty now has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season.
Dellin Betances came in to pitch in the eighth inning and he proceeded to allow a run for his first time in his last seven appearances. Ryan Hanigan’s single to left that scored Brandon Guyer off of David Robertson was charged to Betances since Betances left the game with Guyer on second and Logan Forsythe on first.
Brian Roberts, the struggling veteran second baseman who could be replaced at some point by Rob Refsnyder, hit a homer in the ninth that forced extra innings. That was Roberts’s fourth homer of the season while his average is only .236. Shawn Kelley pitched the 10th and 11th innings without allowing a run and struck out Ben Zobrist and Joyce with the bases loaded in the 11th to keep the score tied.
Jose Ramirez lost the game for the Yankees as Guyer scored after a shallow single to center by Forsythe. The Yankees were retired in order by Brad Boxberger in the bottom of the 12th to end the game.
The middle game of the series will start at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday. Hiroki Kuroda will get the start for the Yankees to try and end their losing streak. He is coming off of two quality starts in a row. David Price, who could be traded before the trade deadline, will get the start for Tampa Bay.