The Yankees have been on a roll lately, and with ace CC Sabathia on the mound Tuesday, things were only looking better. But Sabathia failed to deliver against the Rays in Tampa, surrendering six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings as the Rays topped the Yankees 6-2.
On the other side, Scott Kazmir pitched like the ace he can be, not the guy who had a 6.69
ERA coming into Tuesday's contest, tossing seven innings of one-run
ball. He allowed five hits and one walk while striking out four to improve to 5-6 on the season and lower his ERA to 6.22. It was his first win since May 9 of this year.
The Rays got on the scoreboard first in the second inning, when Dioner Navarro hit a sacrifice fly to score Ben Zobrist. Tampa then plated two more in the following frame, as Carl Crawford tripled to knock in B.J. Upton and came around to score himself on an error from Alex Rodriguez.
The Yankees were able to get one across in the fifth on a Hideki Matsui RBI single, but the Rays put up three more runs in the next two innings to put the game out of reach.
New York managed to score one more run in the ninth, but it was too little, too late for the Bombers, who dropped to 61-39 on the season. The lone bright spot of the game for the Yankees was the performance of recently recalled reliever Mark Melancon, who allowed one hit and struck out two over 2 1/3 shutout innings.
The Rays, fighting to stay alive in the playoff race, now stand 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.