Rays blow big lead in loss to Yankees

by Gary Shelton on June 23, 2022

in general

Thursday, 3 a.m.

The first requirement to beating the big boys is this: You have to do the little things on the way.

Otherwise, you watch a lead fritter away and you end up losing 5-4 to the New York Yankees. You end looking at the division lead from fourth place. You end up losing another series.

Despite taking a 4-0 lead in the game's first four innings, the Tampa Bay Rays squandered the lead late due to sloppy play and a weary bullpen. During the loss, they gave up three home runs -- two to Aaron Judge and a two-run shot to Jose Trevino in the eighth.

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Along the way, the Rays:

-- Had only two of their 10 hits in the last four innings.

-- Were 0-7 with runners in scoring position.

-- Had two baserunners thrown out, including a pickoff of third by Taylor Walls with two out and the bases loaded in the eighth. The Rays lead the majors in outs made on the base paths.

-- Walked eight batters and hit one.

-- Committed another error (Walls, his ninth) and gave up another unearned run.

-- Had one hit against the Yankees' bullpen.

“It’s frustrating," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "We had opportunities to add more runs and we didn’t. Then it was fairly obvious we were fairly gassed in the pen from the night before and even previous games and it kind of caught up to us at the end."

The Rays jumped to its lead behind home runs by Isaac Paredes (his fourth in four at-bats) and Vidal Brujan.

The Rays could have used more length from starting pitcher Shane Baz, who went just 4 2/3 innninhd. That meant the Rays had to go to their bullpen early, and the Yankees chipped away until they were back in the game.

Cash hated the walks most of all.

"It goes without saying that team is going to capitalize on opportunities," Cash said. "Free passes came about. I still go back to the fact we’re pitching some young guys in some situations that can get a little sticky. They’re going to be better for it. It stings a little bit in the moment."

The Rays are 3-7 against New York. They have now lost four straight series.

 “Look,  they’re the best team in baseball," Cash said. "We’re a good team. We're just not capitalizing on opportunities we’re capable of doing. We didn’t make the big pitch. We didn’t get the big hit. The big play. All three of those things came up and beat us."

Tampa Bay is off today, then faces Pittsburgh on Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Jeffrey Springs will start for the Rays against Mitch Keller.

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