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Yankees 4, Rays 3: Runners in scoring position flummox Rays bats

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The top of the ninth encapsulated the entire game: Threaten, but fail to capitalize.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees faced off on Wednesday night in a laborious third game of the four game set taking place in the Bronx. Shane McClanahan took the mound for the Rays making his seventh start of the year. For the Yankees, Jordan Montgomery made his eleventh start of the year.

The Rays dropped their second game in a row to the Yankees by a score of 4-3. The story of the night is a simple one, and it was the Rays inability to come through with runners in scoring position. They were an insurmountable 1-10 with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees jumped on McClanahan early, scoring two in the bottom of the first with a two run bomb off the bat of Gio Urshela. The Rays would answer in the top of the fourth as Austin Meadows scored on a Manuel Margot fielder’s choice.

Tampa Bay’s flame throwing right-hander would hold the Yankees scoreless in the second and third innings, but the Yankees would answer in the bottom half of the fourth with two runs. After a leadoff double that was quickly followed by a single, McClanahan would strike out Miguel Andujar and give way to Ryan Thompson, who would surrender a two run single to Clint Frazier.

On the night, McClanahan surrendered four runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked two across three and a third innings of work. The loss was his first of the year.

Jordan Montgomery earned the win for the Yankees behind a solid night on the bump. The southpaw tossed six and a third innings surrendering three runs in the process. He struck out six and walked two. The win marked his third of the year.

The Rays would score their third and final run of the night in the top of the seventh on a Ji-Man Choi single that deflected off of pitcher Jonathon Loasiga’s glove.

Despite a shaky start from McClanahan, Collin McHugh and Jeffrey Springs held the Yankees scoreless for the final four frames, striking out seven Yankees hitters combined.

The Rays threatened in the top of the ninth drawing back to back walks to lead off the inning against Aroldis Chapman, but they could not scratch across the tying or go ahead run as Randy Arozarena and Ji-Man Choi struck out prior to an Austin Meadows ground-ball back to the mound to end the game.

In search of a series split, the Rays will face off against the always dominant Gerrit Cole Thursday afternoon at 1:10 ET.

Luckily, Ji-man Choi is back in the Rays dugout this time around and should be eager to face his favorite pitcher.