Masahiro Tanaka struggled in the first inning, giving up 2 runs and almost a third, and it was enough for Tampa Bay to beat the Yanks, 3-1 on Thursday afternoon.
For the second straight game, the Yanks’ bats only scored 1 run. The loss drops the 75-46 Yankees 10 1/2 back of Boston, and with only 41 games to go, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Yanks won’t win the division, but will have to settle for the wild card.
Tampa scored a run in the top of the eighth on a squeeze bunt (you don’t see those much anymore).
The Yanks got their only run in the bottom of the eighth when with one out, Romine singled and was forced by Hicks. An error by the Rays in attempting to complete the DP enabled Hicks to go to second. Stanton doubled him home on a ball originally called a HR but correctly challenged and changed to a double.
The Yanks have been terrible this year with the bases loaded and that fault helped cost them the game in the bottom of the ninth. Down 3-1 they loaded the bases with no one out when Didi and Torres singled, and Neil Walker walked. But Bird popped up, and Gardner and Romine each struck out.
The Yanks struck out 11x in the game.
Stanton 2 hits, both doubles, RBI.
Kahnle was brought up to replace Cessa.
Tanaka (L, 9-4, 4.03) 6 IP, 2 R, 9 H, 0 W, 6 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.50 (Balt/NYY)
Robertson 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.17
Kahnle 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.73