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Rays Fall Back Into Tie For First With Loss To Yankees

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May 10, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts on the mound against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
May 10, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts on the mound against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Despite being off to one of the best starts of his career, Yankee Stadium still proved to be too much for David Price to overcome.

He has a 4.54 ERA there, his second highest at any stadium with a minimum of three starts. He was able to make it through seven innings, saving the bullpen from getting too taxed. In those seven innings he allowed five runs on eleven hits. The bulk of the damage came in the fifth inning. He allowed six baserunners, including a double to Alex Rodriguez and a home run to Robinson Cano. Looking for a silver lining, Price did throw 20 changeups again and was effective with 14 going for strikes. He even mixed in 14 sliders. His continued maturation has been one of my favorite things about this season.

The offense, without Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce or Luke Scott in the lineup, was pretty much held in check against Sabathia. They had some chances against the hefty southpaw, including loading the bases the first two innings but only coming away with two runs. They had men in scoring position in the fourth and seventh innings as well, but couldn't get a hit when they needed it. I think they went 2-1,469 with runners in scoring position this series. My math could be a little off, though. Sabathia was at his Sabathiest, generating 15 swinging strikes, 10(!) on his slider.

The loss of Evan Longoria, and in this game Desmond Jennings as well, are far more glaring when facing a pitcher like Sabathia. The lack of right handed depth hurt. The team could have played better, but there's no shame in losing two of three in New York. As Joe Maddon said after the game about winning one against the Yankees "It's better than one." Dropping two in a row at home to Oakland is a far worse crime. Now the team travels down to Baltimore for a first place showdown with the Orioles. Jeremy Hellickson takes the hill tonight, looking to rebound from the shortest outing of his career.