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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees completes a third inning ending double play after forcing out David DeJesus #7 of the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Series Recap: Yankees vs. Rays

There are few things in this world that are more American than baseball. There are few things in baseball more patriotic than the Yankees or walk-off wins. It is only fitting, then, that the Yankees took 2 out of 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Fourth of July weekend. The team held a flair for the dramatic until the final game of the set, when they weren’t able to complete the sweep after the holiday had passed.

Under the lights at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, the pinstripes needed 12 innings to take the ballgame 7-5. They were held scoreless for 6.2 innings by Chris Archer, who continued his fantastic season by lowering his ERA to 2.18. He allowed just 3 hits and 3 walks and struck out 8.

Mark Teixeira hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game at 3, where it stayed until the 12th. After Tampa Bay scored twice in the top half, a Teixeira RBI single set the table for Brian McCann. He launched a 3-run jack to send the home crowd home happy. Tex’s 4 RBI led the way, as did Alex Rodriguez‘s 2 hits and 3 walks.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched well for the Yankees, allowing 3 runs in 6 innings. The Rays scored twice in the first innings on an Evan Longoria double and a James Loney sacrifice fly. Rene Rivera hit a sac fly to score another in the 5th, but that’s all they would get until the 12th inning. In that inning, Kevin Kiermaier and Rivera hit back-to-back RBI singles to give them a late lead that they could not hold. Chasen Shreve earned the victory for the Yankees, getting the final two outs in the 12th. Grady Sizemore had 3 hits out of the leadoff spot, and Rivera had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

The Fourth of July game ended in another walk-off win, but not in a conventional way. The Yankees scored two in the first on an A-Rod RBI single and a Mark Teixeira sac fly. They were held scoreless until the final inning by Nathan Karns and Brandon Gomes. Karns went 7, allowing just those two runs and struck out 10 Yankees batters.

In the 9th, Ramon Flores hit a sacrifice bunt that was short-hopped to first by pitcher Brad Boxberger. As the ball rolled away from first, Jose Pirela, who was running for Mark Teixeira, was able to score from second to end the game. No Yankees player had a multi-hit game, but numbers 1-4in the lineup each had a hit.

The Rays were stymied by Michael Pineda for 7 innings. He also struck out 10, and allowed 5 hits and 1 walk to continue an uptick in his recent performance. After using Shreve for two batters, manager Joe Girardi called on Dellin Betances to get a 4-out save. Steven Souza hit a 2-run homer off of Betances with none out in the top of the 9th, but the reliever was able to settle in and retire the next three batters to keep the score tied. Betances earned his 5th win after blowing his second save of the year.

Tampa Bay was able to avenge both of those losses, winning easily on Sunday by a score of 8-1. They were helped out by three Yankees errors, all of which led to unearned runs. Ivan Nova went 5 innings for the Yanks and gave up 4 runs after pitching extremely well in his first two starts back from Tommy John Surgery. James Loney hit a 2-run single in the first inning, which turned out to be all that the Rays needed. Curt Casali hit a sac fly in the second to score Kevin Kiermaier, and Asdrubal Cabrera squeezed home a run in the 5th to complete the damage against Nova.

The Rays scored 4 runs in the 8th, all of which were credited to reliever Bryan Mitchell. Logan Forsythe had a 2-run single in the 8th to lead his team, along with Loney and Casali, with 2 RBI. Longoria and Kiermaier had 2 hits each to lead the attack.

The lone run for the Yankees came on an Alex Rodriguez home run in the 6th. Other than that, the Yankees only had 2 more hits, one by Chase Headley and one by Garrett Jones. Erasmo Ramirez held the Yankees to just that lone run in 6 innings as he continues to make the transition from reliever to starter.

Now, the most patriotic players for the Yankees, the best performers in this Independence Day weekend series:

Offensive MVP: Alex Rodriguez- .400 batting average, 4 walks in 3 games.

Offensive SlugGarrett Jones- Two hits in 10 at-bats and 0 RBI.

Pitcher of the Series: Michael Pineda- 10 K’s and just 5 hits in 7 shutout innings.

Pitching Nightmare: Ivan Nova- 4 runs in 5 innings after pitching to a 1.50 ERA in his first two starts back from injury.