The Rays failed to sweep the Yankees after an impressive two games of baseball on a 4th of July afternoon at Tropicana Field. The Rays looked like they had the win in their grip, but a miserable performance by Kyle Farnsworth and some bad umpiring were the only thing that got it the way of the brooms coming out yesterday.
David Price’s excellent seven innings of one-run ball were spoiled by the Yankees big bats in the in the eighth.
There were no hits in the ball game until the bottom of the fourth when Sean Rodriguez hit an RBI single into right field scoring Ben Zobrist to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Price had a two-hit shutout broken up by a lead off home-run by Mark Teixeira to tie the game at 1. Alex Rodriguez continued the Yanks' good start to the seventh with a double following the home run. Price settled down and got out of the jam retiring Cano, Jones and Martin to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Rays struck back. With lefty specialist Boone Logan in the game, Carlos Pena blasted a two-run home run to give the Rays a late 3-1 lead. Considering how trusworthy the Rays' bullpen has been in the eight and ninth inning, it seemed as if Pena's big blast would end up as the game-winning hit.
Kyle Farnsworth entered the game in the top of the eighth and walked four Yankees, while only recording one out, to allow the Yankees to stay in the game.
The decision to put Farnswoth in a setup situation with a two-run lead against the Yankees really did not make sense, and proved costly. It was Farnsworth's first big situation outing since returning from his season long injury, and it was clear after the first batter he did not have the same stuff. Jake McGee, who has really done everything to earn the set-up role, has still been denied that role consistently. And yesterday, probably for the first time this season, the Rays payed dearly.
As bad as Farnsworth's outing was, though, a bad call by the third base umpire was the reason he gave up three runs and not two. Curtis Granderson should have struck out swinging on a 3-2 check swing, but after the appeal the ump decided he did not go. That one run was the difference in this ballgame.
With the score now 3-2, McGee was now put into the game following the bases-loaded walk.
Robinson Cano singled with the bases loaded next to give the Yankees two runs and a 4-3 lead.
After the Rays failed to score in the eighth, former Rays closer Rafael Soriano came into the ninth and closed it out for his 19th save of the season. The snaps the Rays’ streak of 9 straight home wins vs. the Yankees.
The Rays fall to 43-39. They drop to 6.5 back and remain in third place a game up on the Red Sox, who lost 3-2 yesterday. The O’s won their game, and are now a 1.5 games ahead of Tampa. The Blue Jays won as well.
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