The Yankees‘ bats once again went silent managing just two singles as the Rays got just enough offense, aided by two unearned runs, to get a 3-0 win and set up a rubber match Sunday.
Here are the takeaways…
– Clarke Schmidt got the start and after a 13-pitch first ran into trouble with the first two men reaching in the second with Isiah Kiner-Falefa mishandling a grounder at third allowing Isaac Paredes to reach before Luke Raley scorched a double to right (106.8 mph off the bat). Back-to-back sacrifice flies to center brought home the game’s first two runs but allowed the righty to limit the damage.
With two outs in the third, Randy Arozarena drove a double to the gap in right center and he came around to score to make it 3-0 when Josh Lowe just missed a homer off the wall in center for a double of his own. Harrison Bader looked to have a beat on the ball and possibly could have made a play on it at the wall, but he appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball in the Tropicana Field roof.
– In the early goings, the Rays had three hits (all doubles) with 100+ mph exit velocities while the Yanks batters were having less luck against Tampa’s tall right-hander Tyler Glasnow, they were hitless through four but had three groundouts with 100+ mph exit velocities. Oswald Peraza’s was the hardest of the bunch 109.9 mph on a smash short to start the third.
– Outside of the three doubles that cost him three runs, but only one earned, Schmidt was effective and kept the Yankees in the game. But the Bombers’ managed just walks from Gleyber Torres and Ben Rortvedt off Glasnow through 5.1 innings before DJ LeMahieu’s hard line drive (105.2 mph) just got over a leaping Brandon Lowe at second base and broke up the no-hitter.
Rays manager Kevin Cash lifted Glasnow after six shutout innings striking out four and allowing just one hit and two walks on 85 pitches (49 strikes) but there was no change in fortune for the visitors as Robert Stephenson mowed them down in the seventh on 12 pitches with two strikeouts.
And tough luck continued against Jason Adam in the seventh when Paredes at third was positioned perfectly to handle Everson Pereira’s 101.2 mph grounder down the line to start the inning. Peraza and pinch-hitter Jake Bauers went down swinging to end the inning. Bauers now has just three hits in his last 40 at-bats with 22 strikeouts.
– Schmidt was lifted with two outs in the sixth and a runner on second as left-hander Wandy Peralta was summoned to face Tampa lefty Brandon Lowe, who went down swinging.
The 27-year-old’s average velocity and average spin rate were down for all four of his pitches on the night but Schmidt still managed 11 whiffs on 52 swings (getting five on his knuckle curve) and 13 called strikes.
Schmidt’s final line: 6.2. innings (a career-high), six hits, three runs (one earned) with no walks and five strikeouts on 99 pitches (65 strikes)
– Kenyan Middleton got the bottom of the eighth trying to keep it a 3-run game, but he ran into trouble when he walked Arozarena after getting ahead 0-2 and allowed a Josh Lowe single. A strikeout and fielder choice followed, and after a walk loaded the bases the righty got Jose Siri swinging to get out of the high-pressure situation unscathed.
LeMahieu, who had two homers Friday, got his and the Yankees’ second hit of the game to start the ninth off Pete Fairbanks, but Aaron Judge went down swinging, Torres went down looking and Stanton popped out to second to end it.
– Kiner-Falefa partly made up for the error with a pair of nifty plays at third, charging and smartly fielding a slow Harold Ramirez bouncer and making a good throw in the fourth before moving to his left to cut off a hard shot by Ramirez to end the sixth with a runner on base.
– New York (62-67) lost for the 11th time in 13 games. The Yankees haven’t won a three-game series since sweeping the Kansas City Royals on July 21-23. But they have the chance to win their first rubber game after dropping seven straight dating back to a 10-4 win at Oakland on June 29.
– Rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe did not play Saturday, ending his streak of appearing in every game this season
– The game’s 4:10 first pitch was pushed back to 4:30 because of a pregame ceremony for Carl Crawford’s induction into the Rays’ Hall of Fame.
The Yanks conclude their first leg of their 10-game road trip with a series finale in Tampa before heading to Detroit for a four-game set.
Left-hander Carlos Rodon (1-4, 6.27 ERA) is coming off a decent start against Washington as he looks to grab a few positives from a horrid debut season in the Bronx against Tampa right-hander Zack Littell (2-4, 4.27 ERA).