ST. PETERSBURG – The New York Yankees were back in St. Petersburg to take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night without their skipper, Joe Girardi, who was in attendance of his daughter’s graduation. Rays’ superstar Evan Longoria proved to be a thorn in the Yankees’ side once again as he pushed his team to victory, 5-4.
Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound for the Rays and pitched 5.1 strong innings. Ramirez surrendered two earned runs, six hits and struck out five. Ramirez, who normally pitches in relief for the Rays, only threw 65 pitches before being pulled. “I think the key for me was keeping the ball down and making sure none of the batters drove the ball out of the park,” Ramirez said. “I just wanted to make the most of my opportunity.”
Yankees’ starter Luis Severino bounced back after a rough outing against the Astros. The young righty struck out seven Rays’ batters over five innings of action and allowed only one earned run. Reliever Adam Warren took the brunt of the damage from the Rays as he allowed three earned runs in only 2/3=of-an-inning.
Matt Holliday knotted things back up at 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning with his two-run home run off of Ryne Stanek. But the Yankees couldn’t pull out another comeback victory. Reliever Tyler Clippard allowed the go-ahead run to score in the bottom half of the eighth inning and Rays’ closer Alex Colome locked the game down in the ninth.
Yet again, Evan Longoria proved to be the Yankees’ kryptonite as he collected four hits in his five at-bats, including the game-winner. Longoria is now 9-for-24 against the Yankees this season but is only hitting a meager .249, overall.
Evan Longoria has played a pretty good season of his career against the Yankees. .277/.350/.504 coming into tonight, 33 HRs and 101 RBIs.
With the loss, the Yankees now sit at 24-15 on the season but still remain atop their division. Masahiro Tanaka will look to halt the two-game losing streak and bounce back from his horrendous outing against the Houston Astros. Tanaka will take on Matt Andriese on Saturday afternoon.
Win- Danny Farquhar
Loss- Tyler Clippard
Save- Alex Colome
Masahiro Tanaka has been abysmal all season aside from a couple of quality starts. His earned run average currently sits at 5.80 and part of that is due to his horrendous start against the Rays on Opening Day. The Rays touched Tanaka up for seven earned runs in 2.2 innings.