Tanaka Silences Rays’ Bats, Yankees Win Series

RAYS DROP RUBBER GAME TO NEW YORK 7-2

The Tampa Bay Rays lost the rubber game of their three game series against the division rival New York Yankees 7-1.

The loss drops Tampa Bay to 24-15 on the season but despite the loss they remain a 1/2 game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. They were held to two runs or fewer for the seventh time in their last 15 games and three runs or fewer for the ninth time over that stretch. Nine of their 11 runs this series came via the homer (four solo, one 2-run, one 3-run).

Blake Snell (3-4, 3.56 ERA) took the loss allowing just two earned runs in 5.2-innings of work on four hits while striking out 12 and walking just two.

The only two runs Snell allowed came in the span of seven pitches in the fifth inning. With two out in the fifth Austin Romine lined a double and came in to score on Mike Tauchman‘s double. DJ LeMahieu followed with a single to plate Tauchman giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead

“I felt good. Have to be better. I let some things get away from me to where I didn’t execute pitches as well as I should have.” Snell said. “With that being said, it was frustrating. Overall, a frustrating outing. I felt really good, but I need to be better.”

Kevin Kiermaier broke down the series against the Yankees saying that the Rays need to play better, plain and simple. “We didn’t have our best weekend. Yesterday was a very good, clean game. We came up Friday a little short and the game [today] got a little out of hand there towards the end.” He said. “That’s baseball. We are playing a really good team over there. They collectively had better at-bats throughout the day. You have to tip your hat to Tanaka. He’s nasty. He’s a wizard up there. He has you off balance all the time. He had his split and slider working today. He’s so deceptive. We weren’t able to find many barrels off him.”

Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 3.44 ERA) held the Rays to just one run in seven innings on five hits while striking out seven and walking none. With the win the Yankees improve to 24-16 on the season.

The only run Tanka allowed came on Austin Meadow’s eighth homer of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning cutting the Yankees lead to 2-1.

Yankee Manager Aaron Boone was happy with his squad. Not only for their performance in St. Petersburg, but over the tough opening of the season with all the injuries. “More guys just continue to step up. I’m really proud of that effort. It’s not easy for us right now.” Boone said. “We have to grind and scratch for everything. We’re up against (Blake) Snell today who was absolutely dealing, but Masa (Masahiro Tanaka) was able to match him and then some.”

The Yankees extended their lead back to two runs on a Ryne Stanek wild pitch in the top of the eighth inning.

The Yankees turned to Zack Britton in the eighth inning and the Rays threatened with a pair of 1-out singles by Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham. Ji-Man Choi had the opportunity to tie the game with a hit when Tommy Pham moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, Britton was up to the task striking out Choi and Yandy Diaz to end the threat.

In the top of the ninth the power went out at Tropicana Field leading to a 43-minute delay. When the power was restored the Yankees rallied to score four runs off Austin Pruitt including a solo homer by Thairo Estrada, his second of the season.

Statement from Rays on power outage:

“During the ninth inning of today’s game, Tropicana Field experienced a power outage stemming from a failure of a main switch into the building. Rays operations staff identified the problem and were able reroute the electrical feed to an alternate switch temporarily so that the game could resume. We apologize for the delay.” – Tampa Bay Rays

Up Next For The Rays:

Morton With 1000th Career K Ball

Tampa Bay has an off-day Monday before they head to Miami for a two-game series with the Miami Marlins. Charlie Morton (3-0, 2.64 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays. The Marlins answer with Caleb Smith (3-0, 2.11 ERA).

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I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.