The Rays lost the rubber match Thursday night against the Yankees. The game featured a battle of lefty starters with David Price and CC Sabathia going head to head. Price has been slightly better than Sabathia on the season, but that was not the case tonight.
Tampa loaded the bases in the top of the 1st inning after Sean Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, Jeff Keppinger got an infield single, and Brandon Guyer reached on an error. Carlos Pena slugged a grand slam against CC Sabathia the last time they faced; this time he singled into right field, plating Sean Rodriguez. Unfortunately, the Rays could not get more as Jeff Keppinger was thrown out at the plate from a rocket by Nick Swisher.
The Rays got another run thanks to an error by the Yankees in the 2nd inning. Chris Gimenez reached first on an error with one out, and ended up scoring on a Sean Rodriguez single.
Curtis Granderson deposited a David Price fastball that was left on the inside half of the plate into the first deck in right to start the bottom of the 2nd. Price got a quick out, but then walked Eduardo Nunez, who stole second base. Chris Stewart singled Nunez home, tying the game at 2-2 in the 2nd inning. Price walked Jeter, but caught a liner right back at him and doubled off the Yankees’ short stop at 1st.
Price and Sabathia settled down for a few innings until the 5th, when the Rays’ lefty ran into trouble. Swisher led off the inning with a single to center. Price again missed with a fastball up and in to Robinson Cano, who crushed a homerun to deep right-center. Price got out of the inning, and got 1-2-3 innings in the 6th and 7th, but the damage had been done. Price was not on his A-game tonight, although Yankee Stadium is a difficult place to do so. He went 7 innings, giving up 5 runs on 11 hits and 3 walks. 70 of his 110 pitches were for strikes, although he only struck out 4. The difference in the game were the mistakes he made against lefties Granderson and Cano.
The Rays left two runners on base in the 7th inning after singles by Gimenez and Rodriguez, but Upton struck out to end the inning. They got nothing going in the 8th, their fourth 1-2-3 inning of the game. Badenhop relieved Price in the 8th, and shut down the Yankees despite an error by Sean Rodriguez.
The Rays’ bats were shut down by CC Sabathia tonight. He went 8 innings and only gave up 7 hits while striking out 10. Rodriguez, Gimenez, and Johnson all got 2 hits, but the rest of the offense was quiet. The Yankees are now only 2.5 games behind the Rays, who face the Orioles tomorrow night at Camden Yards.