There was solace in the most painful defeat of the season: the Yankees are not planning to visit Tampa again this year.
Despite solid effort from James Paxton and a late three-round lead, the Yankees suffered their third loss in four games against Rays on Sunday, 4-3, in Michael Perez’s singles match against Zack Britton. With their seventh defeat in the past eight games at Tropicana Field, the Yankees have now lost five out of seven since their seven-win streak, allowing Rays to climb within two games from first place.
The Yankees started a 9 home game and on Tuesday against the Braves.
Paxton, a week excluded from admitting he “worries”; and hoping to “find out what’s going on”, shoved two depressed games – four in total – to open with six Great game in which he scored 11 shots. Using a heavy attack on a fast ball, his left hand increased his speed to 94 mph – he averaged 91.8 mph with a quick ball on his first two starts, down compared with 95.4 last season – and surrendered just one hit in the seventh inning.
Aaron Boone said: “I feel like even before starting the last game, he has started making some improvements and it feels like the work from last start to today is good. “I believe he’ll get there and hopefully over time some of that velocity will start to return. I think it’s important to him [and] we realized that even as his speed decreased that he still had an effective weapon and pitch. “
Despite leaving 9 man-based and going 0-0 with 8 with runners in scoring position, the Yankees seem to have enough offense.
The first run happened when Mike Ford was stoned with the base loaded in the first inning. The Yankees were awarded another run in the fifth half, when Rays central midfielder Manuel Margot dropped a deep ball from Gio Urshela that would have been the third.
Luck will end. So is Paxton’s dominance.
After Jose Martinez’s leading double in the seventh, Tampa Bay slashed the deficit to one with Mike Brosseau’s double-run bomb on the left. A throw later, the Yankees’ lead was erased by Brandon Lowe’s shot in the middle.
As Paxton got off the mound without a decision – having lowered his ERA from 13.50 to 7.84 – the left seemed to hear ridicule from the Rays bench, before smashing his glove his hand on the bow of the Yankees. In 6 ¹ / ₃ innings, Paxton allows three runs, four hits, and one walk.
Jonathan Holder completes season seven, then exits from season eight. After giving up a brace for Ji-Man Choi and a brace for Austin Meadows, Holder intentionally led Martinez to load up the bases, allowing him to trigger a half-match double match with Hunter Renfroe.
With Britton taking over in ninth place, Brosseau secured the double lead, but he was eliminated in third place against Gleyber Torres. But a wild pitch quickly put Lowe down to second place. Three games later, Perez sent the Yankees home.