Seeking to come back from their 6th walk off loss the night before, the Rays took on a Yankees team hanging on to wild card contention. Five hours later, when Stephen Souza Jr. struck out with the tying runs on base in the ninth, the Rays had lost to the Yankees, 7-5.
How the Yankees scored
The bottom of the first inning began inauspiciously. Ellsbury’s soft leadoff single was followed by a double by Rob Refsnyder on a line drive to right that Dickerson played rather awkwardly, allowing Ellsbury to score easily. An out later, Starlin Castro singled to center, and Refsnyder, after pausing to watch the ball, tried to score from second, getting thrown out by a proverbial mile by Kiermaier’s strike to the catcher. I guess the Yankee’s third base coach, who was waving him home enthusiastically, hasn’t gotten the “don’t run on KK” memo. The out at home limited damage, but Snell had thrown 35 pitches in a rough first inning, and was over 50 pitches after a scoreless but lengthy second inning.
The Yankees added two runs in the third. Gary Sanchez homered to center; a Teixeira fly ball to right turned into a double (not a great defensive night for Corey Dickerson), and he scored on a wild pitch after moving to third on a grounder. Snell was pulled with two outs in the third, having thrown over 80 pitches and never finding any sort of groove.
Ryan Garton replaced Blake Snell, getting the final out of the third and a quick two outs in the fourth before giving up a single past a not really diving Ramirez. Garton, by the way, has put together a nice string of appearances in September. But a downpour stopped play with two out and one on.
The rain lasted just long enough to end Garton’s night (although the Yankees would keep Pineda in). He was followed by Jepsen, who after a decent start for the Rays has been shaky of late. Jepsen allowed a single and a walk, and then the inevitable 2 out grand slam to Mark Teixeira. Yankees 7, Rays 2.
How the Rays Scored
Rays started chipping away at that lead in the fourth with a Logan Morrison home run to right field (and not a short porcher either) followed immediately by a Stephen Souza Jr. home run to left field.
The Yankees went to reliever Chasen Shreve in the 6th. The Rays greeted him with back to back hits by Souza, who has been swinging the bat well, and LoMo to make the score 7-3. A Bobby Wilson single scored Souza, so the inning ended with the score 7-4.
Finally, in the bottom of the 9th, Kiermaier and Longoria singled to put runners on the corners. After another rain delay, Morrison singled home one run to make it 7-5. However, the runners were stranded when Souza Jr. struck out on three pitches.
Things that happened when no one scored.
- Snell will no doubt be an effective pitcher for the Rays moving forward, building on his knee-buckling curve, but watching him now as he falls behind on batters and walks over 12% of those he faces, can be painful.
- The bottom of the 5th featured the Rays debut of Justin Marks, whose major league resume consisted of 2 innings pitched for Kansas City in 2014. He walked one and got out the inning thanks to a stellar Kiermaier catch, running into the right-center alley to snag a ball. Marks later came back to pitch the 6th and 7th Altogether he wasn’t stellar (five walks to two strike outs) he at least did not give up any hits or runs.
- Since the Rays have been preaching accountability and avoiding mental mistakes, let’s talk about Corey Dickerson’s night. To his credit he went down in the zone to dig out a slider and send it into left for a double in the fourth inning and also reached on a single. On the other hand, he played two outfield balls very awkwardly, to say the least, and each misplay resulted in a run. He also negated the impact of his double by getting picked off second base.
- Collectively Rays pitchers walked 11. Yikes.
- Collectively, Rays and Yankees left 43 men on base.