Bronx, NY—There was a feeling of excitement and happiness throughout Yankee Stadium on Friday night before the contest between the Yanks and Tampa Rays as the Yanks returned to the Bronx with an old favorite, Alfonso Soriano, in the starting lineup.
The good feeling subsided in the top of the second as the Rays scored six runs before the frame concluded. The Rays’ barrage included three singles, three doubles and a base on balls. The scoring was also aided by a throwing error by catcher Austin Romine. The inning only ended after a run batted in single by impressive rookie Will Myers, who was out at second trying to stretch.
Of Sabathia’s difficulty that inning, Yankees skipper Joe Girardi commented, “He was up tonight. Only one run was in with one out. That was probably the most frustrating part.” Sabathia reflected after the contest, “I wish I could have made the pitches in the second that I did in the third.”
Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia surrendered a seventh run in his final inning, the fifth. Right fielder Sean Rodriguez led off with a double and crossed the plate on single by James Loney.
Sabathia’s start on Friday was disturbingly similar to his last two efforts. He gave up a minimum of seven runs and did not last more than five innings in each of the three games. The lefty disgustedly remarked, “Getting no help from me is tough.”
The record shows that the Rays love to bat against southpaws. The victory over Sabathia was their 10th in the last 11 games in which they faced a lefthander.
The Rays took a 10-1 advantage in the seventh. Myers led off with a single, giving him a seventh straight multi-hit game. After a walk to Matt Joyce, Loney blasted a three run homer. The first sacker continued his hitting mastery on the road. The major league leader in road batting average hit safely in his 14th straight contest on the road and reached base safely in his 33rd road start.
The Yanks in the final two innings did not die quietly as they put five runs on the board. Rookies Melky Mesa and David Adams, each of who entered the game in the eighth, each got two hits in two trips to the plate.
The month long success of the Rays has propelled them to the top of the standings in the American League East. Since June 29th, the Rays have been victorious in 20 of 23 games. Since that date, they have climbed from fourth place, seven games behind the league leader to first place, 0.5 ahead of the Red Sox.
Ivan Nova (4-3) and Chris Archer (5-3) will be the starting pitchers on Saturday afternoon.