Bronx, NY—Wednesday afternoon’s finale of the three game series with the Rays and the Yankee homestand was a pitchers’ duel that intensified as the relief stff of each club entered the contest.
Yankee starter Michael Pineda gave up three of the six hits and both runs that he allowed in only one inning, the third. After retiring the first two batters of the frame, Yankee killer James Loney, who entered the game with a .350 batting average against the Yanks and an amazing .419 in the new Yankee Stadium, beat out an infield hit. Logan Forsythe flowed with a single and both were driven in by a triple off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier.
The two Yankee runs off Tampa starter Drew Smyly came on solo home runs, one by Chase Headley in the fifth and the other by Chris Young in the sixth. Neither starting pitcher was involved in the decision.
The pen men of both squads performed outstandingly. The first three Rays relievers collectively retired the first 11 Yankee batters they faced until Brad Boxberger walked John Ryan Murphy and Stephen Drew with two out in the 10th. The Yankees did not hit safely off a reliever until Jacoby Ellsbury led off the 11th with a single.
The first five Yankee relief pitchers, Jason Wilson, David Carpenter, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chris Martin, collectively retired the first 14 batters that came to bat against them until Martin walked Asdrubel Cabrera in the 11th.
Betances and Miller extended their streak of scoreless innings pitched. Betances has not allowed an earned run in 12.1 innings. The New York City native has retired the last 25 batters he faced, 14 by strikeout. He has fanned of his last 12 batting opponents. Miller extended his scoreless streak to 10.1 frames, yielding only three hits.
The quick moving game finally ended after 3 hours and 58 minutes. The game winning run was scored by the Rays off the Yankees sixth reliever of the game, Chasen Shreve. It came quietly by a walk to Steven Souza, Jr, an intentional pass to Evan Longoria and a Loney single to shallow right field that second sacker Drew could not reach. Drew commented, “It was a tough today. I did the best I could to reach it.” The young, losing hurler Shreve remarked, “It wasn’t so much pressure. I just wanted to do as well as them [referring to the other relief pitchers].”
The pitching was in command as 16 Yankees and 13 Rays fanned during the contest.