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Rays 1, Yankees 7: A lousy Mother’s Day gift

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Quiet bats and a ninth inning implosion spoil a nice Blake Snell start

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On Mother’s Day, the Rays lost to the New York Yankees. Despite the final 7-1 score, it was mostly a tight, well-pitched game. It was only the second series the Rays have lost on the season, and cut the Rays lead over the Yankees to half a game.

For the Rays, Blake Snell was in the pink right from the get-go, using all his pitches to carve up the Yankees. Coming off an outing where he retired the first 17 Diamondbacks, Snell sat down the first nine Yankees in order, including seven by strikeout.

He ran into his first speed bump in the fourth, giving up an infield single to DJ LeMahieu and a walk to Luke Voit to start the inning. But Snell came back to strike out the side, running his total to ten.

For their part, the Rays weren’t exactly hitting the cover off the ball either, though fans who worry about such things breathed easier when Ji-Man Choi’s two-out, first inning slice beat the shift. But that infield single and Avisail Garcia’s one-out single to center in the second represented the entirety of the Rays offense through five.

In the Yankee fifth, after Snell easily sat down the first two hitters, Austin Romine hit a hustle-double to left. Snell couldn’t pitch around the jam this time, giving up a double to Mike Tauchman and a single to D.J. LeMahieu, which put the Yankees up 2-0.

Snell was back out for the sixth, and notched his twelfth strikeout to start the frame before issuing a one-out walk to Frazier. He recorded his last out of the day on a chopper to the mound by Andujar. Chaz Roe came on. Though Roe walked Maybin after a long at bat, he fanned Estrada on three pitches to get out of the inning.

Austin Meadows finally got the Rays going, blasting a 2-2- slider out to center for his eighth homer of the season.

2-1 Yankees.

With two outs, Choi and Diaz singled. But Brandon Lowe couldn’t cash in the chance, popping out to short left.

Roe went back out for the seventh and sat down the side in order. He looked sharp, showing better fastball command, which made his stupid slider that much more effective.

The Yankees got their two run lead back in eighth. With Stanek pitching, a strikeout by Urshela was sandwiched between a Voit walk and a Gardner slap-single to left. The inning then looked to over when Andujar hit a hard grounder to Diaz. But Yandy had trouble getting a handle on the ball and the Rays were only able to get the force at second and allowing Voit to move up to third. Stanek then uncorked a wild pitch, which allowed Voit to score on a close play at the plate.

The Rays best chance to get even came in the eighth, when Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham greeted new Yankee pitcher Zack Britton with a pair of one-out singles, putting runners at the corners for Choi. Pham then moved up when the 2-2 pitch rolled away from Romine. But Britton came back to strike out Choi and Diaz to end the threat.

Austin Pruitt came on the pitch the ninth, and was greeted with a power outage that lasted 40 minutes. But the fans at least kept their sense of humor.

Unfortunately, the Yankees power was restored along with the Trop’s power. Thario Estrada got the fun started by homering on an 0-2 pitch. 4-1 Yankees. Romine followed by hitting a laser past Lowe for a single, and Tauchman blooped one into left. D.J. LeMahieu sacrificed both runners up because Aaron Boone is dumb. A free pass to Voit loaded the bases. Urshela hit over the double play defense with a double to right, driving in two and making it a 6-1 game. A sac fly from Gardner pushed the lead to 7-1.

The Rays went in order in the ninth.

The Rays are off until Tuesday, when the latest installment of THE CITRUS SERIES gets underway at 7 PM in Miami. The Rays hold a 57-56 advantage.