Yankees 3-5 Rays: Losing streak continues as Bombers fall short in Tampa

Yankees starter carlos rodon pitches against the tampa bay rays, tuesday, july 9, 2024.
AP

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New York Yankees 3-5 Tampa Bays Rays

In Tuesday night’s game, the New York Yankees‘ recent struggles were evident from the first inning, as they suffered a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

How it happened

Gleyber torres against tampa bay rays on july 9
AP

Despite a promising start with multiple men on base and a crucial two-out hit from Gleyber Torres that brought Juan Soto home, the initial optimism was short-lived. The Yankees’ early lead dissolved swiftly as Carlos Rodon allowed the first four batters he faced to score.

This early deficit proved insurmountable, culminating in a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the series opener, extending the Yankees’ record to a dismal 6-17 since mid-June.

Carlos Rodon’s struggles help Yankees lose again

Carlos Rodon’s performance has been a point of concern. His persistent reliance on a fastball that seems ineffective against hitters has placed him second in Major League Baseball for home runs allowed.

Although Carlos Rodon’s changeup and slider were more effective than his four-seam fastball during the game, a lack of command and a poorly placed pitch in the first inning led to the Rays quickly taking the lead.

Randy Arozarena’s double tied the game immediately, with Alex Verdugo’s error in the left-field corner allowing Yandy Díaz to score. Following a hit by Amed Rosario, Isaac Paredes sent a thigh-high fastball into the left-field seats, putting the Rays up by three.

Rodon managed to stabilize his performance after the rocky start, but the damage was done. Yankee starters have consistently placed the team at a disadvantage over the past three weeks, evidenced by a 7.04 ERA since June 15th. Rodon has allowed 27 runs in his last 23 innings pitched, marking five consecutive poor starts.

Ben Rice and DJ LeMahieu made good exhibitions

On a positive note, DJ LeMahieu had a two-hit game, going five for his last ten at-bats. The Yankees, in dire need of consistency in the lower part of the lineup, may find some hope in LeMahieu’s recent improvement. Additionally, rookie Ben Rice continues to demonstrate his MLB potential.

Since his debut on June 18th, only Aaron Judge has more RBIs on the team. Rice’s power and quality at-bats suggest he could be considered for the cleanup spot instead of leading off, provided someone will replace him at the top of the order.

Rice’s timely hitting brought the Yankees close, and they managed to get the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning despite the Rays scoring an insurance run. However, the comeback fell short, and the Yankees now face a month with more losses than win

Roster

Up next

Looking ahead, a strong start is crucial for the Yankees. They need to focus on scoring multiple runs rather than just one. The second game is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Amazon Prime.

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