Yankees 2-7 Rays: Bronx Bombers pay for mistakes in deflating loss

New York Yankees’ Anthony Volpe lines a two-run single off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell.

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New York Yankees 2-7 Tampa Bay Rays

The New York Yankees struggled on Saturday, unable to contain the Tampa Bay Rays’ offensive onslaught, resulting in a decisive 7-2 victory for the Rays in the second game of their three-game series.

Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes, known for his precision, faced command issues throughout the game, conceding four runs over 5.1 innings. Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena emerged as the key contributors to the Rays’ offense, driving in six of their seven runs.

The loss puts the Yankees in a challenging position as they look to bounce back in the series finale. Thus far, the Bronx Bombers stand in second place in the American League division behind the Baltimore Orioles.

How it happened 

Cortes struggled against the Rays bats. 4Nestor Cortes struggled with the Rays hitters and his fastball.

The Yankees’ starting pitchers have recently fallen into a concerning pattern, exemplified by Díaz’s leadoff home run off Cortes, marking the fifth time in five games that the opposition has struck a home run in the first inning. Despite this trend, the Yankees’ offense has often responded promptly in subsequent innings to counteract early setbacks.

This trend continued in the game, as Anthony Rizzo initiated a promising offensive surge by drawing a walk, followed by a double from Austin Wells and a walk from Trent Grisham, loading the bases for Anthony Volpe. Volpe capitalized on the opportunity, driving in two runs with a single, though Grisham was tagged out between second and third base. Nevertheless, the Yankees’ baserunning woes persisted, with this being the fifth out recorded on the basepaths within the first 10.5 innings of the series.

Cortes struggled to contain the Rays beyond the initial innings, particularly facing difficulties in the third inning by issuing a walk and conceding a double to Díaz, setting up Arozarena’s three-run homer. With his command wavering, Cortes concluded his outing after the first out of the sixth inning, having allowed four runs on five hits and three walks while registering five strikeouts.

On the offensive front, the Yankees struggled to capitalize against Littell following Volpe’s two-run single. Volpe’s efforts with two opposite-field singles in the fifth and seventh innings couldn’t ignite a sustained rally, as Soto’s deep fly ball to center field fell short of clearing the wall, leaving runners stranded.

Dennis Santana took over from Cortes in the sixth inning but failed to stem the Rays’ momentum. Santana’s struggles continued in the seventh inning, as he walked a batter before Díaz’s deep fly ball to center field drove in a run, followed by Arozarena’s RBI single and Isaac Paredes’ sacrifice fly, extending the Rays’ lead to 7-2.


Up next

Despite the Yankees’ disappointing performance, they have an opportunity to clinch the series in the rubber match, with Luis Gil set to start after an impressive outing against the Astros. The decisive game is scheduled for 1:40 pm ET.

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