The Yankees let a huge lead slip away, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7 in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon.
Here are some key takeaways…
– This one went to extras (we’ll explain how we got there below), and the Yankees failed to get the free runner home in the top half of the 10th inning, a major no-no for any road team. In the bottom of the inning, Isaac Paredes singled off Albert Abreuscoring the free-runner Brandon Lowe and ending a wild game at Tropicana Field.
– Staked to a 6-0 lead, everything unraveled for Gerrit Cole in the sixth inning. The righty cruised through his first four shutout innings before allowing two in the fifth, including a solo homer by Jose Siri. In the sixth, Cole allowed back-to-back doubles, a walk, and then a three-run blast to Christian Bethancourt which tied the game and chased Cole from the mound. What was once a 6-0 Yankees lead was completely erased.
Seemingly in the blink of an eye, Cole went from having an outstanding afternoon to allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits over five innings pitched. He struck out two and walked two, and the two homers he gave up were the first he’s allowed all season.
– The Rays took the lead later in the sixth inning after Siri walked, advanced to second on a Jimmy Cordero wild pitch, and then scored all the way from second base on a high-chopper back to Cordero, who didn’t check him at third before making the play at first base.
But the Yankees didn’t just roll over. After a Harrison Bader single (his third hit of the game) and an Oswaldo Cabrera ground-rule double, Jose Trevino grounded out to bring in Bader and tie the game in the seventh inning.
– Anthony Rizzo got the bats going for the Yankees in the third inning, blasting his sixth homer of the year, a solo shot off of lefty Josh Fleming. Later in the inning, Bader crushed a two-run shot, his second homer of the series.
Bader has made an impact since coming off the IL, as he also tripled and singled in this one and went 3-for-5 with two RBI.
– The Yankees bullpen was fantastic behind Cole. Clay Holmes pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts, and Wandy Peralta matched that effort in the eighth. Michael King allowed one baserunner in the ninth, but he struck out the side to send the game to extras.
– Aaron Hicks delivered his first extra-base hit of the season when he pulled a double down the line in the top of the fourth inning. At the time, the double put the Yankees up 4-0, although that lead wouldn’t last.
Hicks went 1-for-4 and is batting .143 on the season.
The Yankees return home to host the Oakland A’s, starting on Monday at 7:05 pm
Nestor Cortes faces fellow lefty and former Yankee JP Sears.