Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out in the 5th inning with the bases loaded. (Image: Tim Farrell/THE-STAR LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE)

Missed opportunities at plate prevent Yankees from taking over first place

The New York Yankees missed an opportunity to move into first place in the American League East last night as they were defeated by the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-3. The culprit was once again the Yankees performance with runners in scoring position.

The Yanks offense looked listless last night, failing to capitalize on an erratic David Price. CC Sabathia managed to allow five runs (three earned) in seven innings while striking out twelve. It was reminiscent of Ivan Nova‘s twelve-strikeout, five-run performance a few weeks ago. What was supposed to be a great pitcher’s duel fell flat at both ends but Price didn’t allow the big hits and Sabathia did when the chances arose.

The Yankees had various chances to take advantage of Price’s wild performance. But, as has become commonplace, the Yankees failed to drive in runners in scoring position. They finished the night 1-for-10 in the statistic that is haunting them.

Sabathia looked very much in control in the first inning striking out two batters. But he allowed a run in the second and two unearned runs in the third after an Alex Rodriguez throwing error. The bottom of the Rays order hit some bullets off Sabathia in the fourth for two more runs.

Meanwhile, the Yanks left runners on base in four of nine innings and the bases loaded in the fifth. That inning was highlighted by an eleven pitch at-bat by Rodriguez. A-Rod fouled off pitch after pitch until he struck out swinging. Robinson Cano put together another tough at-bat but eventually grounded out to second base. Cano stranded five runners on the night.

The 38-pitch inning for Price ended up being his last. Price allowed three hits, four walks and struck out eight, including Curtis Granderson three times. Granderson ended up with four strikeouts on the night.

Rays reliever Wade Davis came on and pitched two innings of scoreless ball striking out four. The Yanks got one run back in the eighth on a Raul Ibanez pinch-hit RBI single.

But, the Rays scored two in the top of the ninth off Cory Wade. Russell Martin who entered the game in the seventh as a pinch hitter, homered in the bottom of the final frame to cut the lead to 7-3, but the Yankees wouldn’t get any closer.

The Yankees dropped down to third place, one-half game back of the Rays and Baltimore Orioles, who were shutout by the Boston Red Sox.

Tags: A-Rod Alex Rodriguez Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox CC Sabathia Cory Wade Curtis Granderson David Price Ivan Nova New York Yankees Raul Ibanez Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Wade Davis Yankees

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