Rays fall apart in extra inning loss to Yanks

by Gary Shelton on July 28, 2021

in general

Lowe drove in the Rays' only run./CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Under the best of circumstances, the Tampa Bay Rays are lost in the darkness when it comes to extra innings.

Wednesday night, however, the blew up about as bad as a baseball team could manage.

The Rays lost a 3-1, 10-inning game to the New York Yankees when the 10th inning proved to be too much for them. It was their 10th loss in 15 extra-inning games, but this was by far the messiest.

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The Rays, in order:

-- Saw relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks plunk Greg Allen with an 0-2 count.

-- After Aaron Judge hit a ball to the left of shortstop Wander Franco for an apparent double play, the ball ticked off the glove of Franco as a questionable hit. That drove in the winning run.

-- Fairbanks hurt his shoulder on the play.

-- The next reliever, Andrew Kittredge, threw a wild pitch to allow a second run home.

-- In the bottom of the inning, the Rays got runners to second and third with one out. However, pinch hitter Nelson Cruz struck out and Francisco Mejia popped out on the first pitch from Aroldis Chapman.

It all wound up as not being enough, and the Rays dropped their second straight of a crucial nine-game homestand. Tampa Bay managed just three hits on the night -- and none after the fourth inning.

Cruz did not start the game, but he is now two for 19 with seven strikeouts since joining the team.

“We always feel good any time Nelson has a bat in his hands and there are men on base," said Rays' manger Kevin Cash. "You’re going against one of the game’s best in Chapman. That’s the way it goes sometimes. We stayed at it until the very end. We just didn't do quite enough early on."

Cash found no fault with Franco's being unable to field Judge's grounder.

"Judge hits the ball as hard as anyone in the game," Cash said. "He creates a ton of topspin. It continued to kick away. That’s a really tough play for a shortstop to try to cut an angle. If you try to cut it too much, the ball is by you. It was just out of his reach. He catches it, we’re probably sitting with two outs, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

"I don’t know what he’s supposed to do. He doesn't have Go-Go Gadget arms. I wish he did on that play."

The Rays, 2 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East race, will face the Yankees again today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Luis Patino will pitch for the Rays against Gerrit Cole. 

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