Alex Rodriguez was removed from the game early and reportedly sent for an MRI Sunday as the Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1.
Michael Pineda retired the first two batters he faced in the first inning. But after that, the Rays acted like it was still batting practice. They produced five hits, including two home runs, one by Corey Dickerson and one by Steven Souza Jr. When the dust cleared in the first the Yankees were down 5-0.
The second inning went scoreless. All six outs came by strike outs. Pineda seemed to be finding his groove in the top of the inning. Tampa starter Drew Smyly matched him with three strike outs in the bottom of the inning.
But Pineda yielded another round tripper in the third. This time it was Steve Pearce who provided the power with a solo home run to increase the Tampa lead to 6-0. The home runs were coming off of Pineda’s fastball, while his six strike outs were coming from his off speed pitches. [related category]
Brett Gardner got the Yankees fourth started when he reached on a hit by pitch. Gardy moved to second on a ground out by Mark Teixeira. Alex Rodriguez then lined a double to bring Gardner home and get the Yankees closer at 6-1.
In the fifth, Souza came to the plate for Tampa looking to add to his already successful day. And he did just that by lining his second home run of the day to make the score 7-1. Pineda finished his outing after allowing seven runs, including four home runs, in his five innings. He stuck out nine and walked one.
The Yankees summoned Kirby Yates to the mound in the top of the sixth. Yates allowed just one base runner in the inning. He ended the inning by striking out Evan Longoria on a nasty breaking pitch. He would go on to pitch two scoreless innings.
Concern grew in the sixth when Dustin Ackley pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez. Alex had an RBI double in his previous at bat to get the Yankees on the scoreboard. He reportedly was taken for an MRI. Follow Yanks Go Yard for an update on his status.