Apparently, the way to follow up giving up six runs in the first inning on Saturday is to give up seven runs in the second inning on Sunday.
For the second consecutive day the Tampa Bay Rays were thoroughly out matched by the New York Yankees and a starting pitcher had to be pulled much earlier than anticipated. In Sunday’s game the Yankees prevailed 10-4.
Luis Patino struggled out of the gate. Aaron Judge had a leadoff single followed by a walk to Giancarlo Stanton for two immediate baserunners for Gleyber Torres. Torres took full advantage of the opportunity belting a 391ft home run to right center field to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead with no outs. Patino and the Rays were able to secure the next three outs, though, the initial damage was already done.
As if the Rays were not self-destructing enough this series, the umpires decided to give an assist in the second inning. Christian Bethancourt was on first base following a single with Taylor Walls at-bat. Walls hit a fly ball that right fielder Oswaldo Cabrera trapped with his glove, though, the first base umpire did not immediately declare whether or not the ball was caught. This delay left Bethancourt stuck between deciding to return to first base or advance to second. In the seconds it took to call it a fair ball Cabrera was already throwing the ball to second base for the forceout. Kevin Cash discussed with the umpires and they huddled to review before ultimately calling it a force out at second base. I fully understand umpires cannot get calls right all the time, though, they need to at least make a call immediately and allow the review process to handle any uncertainty. Given the final score it is easy to dismiss the call, though, it is still important to get the calls right because you never know with baseball.
The Rays ultimately scored one run that inning as Walls scored on a single from Jose Siri trimming the game at the time to 3-1.
Then came the bottom of the second where it all fell apart. The Yankees loaded the bases following a leadoff walk to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, walk to Kyle Higashioka, and a single by Marwin Gonzalez. Judge drove the first run of the inning home with a sacrifice fly to center field. In the next at-bat a Stanton home run cleared the bases adding three more runs for the Yankees. Torres added on the pain by making it back-to-back home runs. A walk to Josh Donaldson would be the final batter Patino faced in the game. Calvin Faucher came in to replace Patino and picked up right where he left off. His first batter would be the final home run of the makeshift derby came from Cabrera as he got his first homer of his career to make it a 10-1 lead for the Yankees after two.
The Rays made a noble attempt at mounting a comeback in the sixth inning with Lou Trivino on the mound for the Yankees. Randy Arozarena got a leadoff single to start things off for the Rays. The Yankees made a pitching change to Ron Marinaccio following the single. Two batters later Bethancourt hit a double scoring Arozarena. Bethancourt would then score on a Walls single trimming the Yankees lead to 10-3. Any hopes for an epic rally in that inning ended with back-to-back strikeouts by Jonathan Aranda and Jose Siri.
Ji-Man Choi provided the remaining positive notes for the Rays in this game. He entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and in true pinch-hitting Ji-Man fashion provided a leadoff double. Later in the ninth inning he hit a single to left field that scored Aranda to give us our final score of 10-4.
With the loss the Rays are 5.5 games back of the Yankees for the division lead and finish the season series 8-11 against them. At this point the division is likely out of reach, especially after not taking advantage of the head-to-head matchups.
Today also marked the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yankees starter Domingo Germán entered the field and ran to the bullpen with the American flag. All Yankees uniformed personnel also wore the caps of New York City’s first responders.
The Rays play again tomorrow against the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:07pm ET.