ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — After two high-scoring days, the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense was shut down again in the finale against the New York Yankees.
The Rays outscored the Yankees 27-6 in winning the previous two games before managing just six hits while striking out 14 times against Yankees start Vidal Nuno and five relievers Sunday in New York’s 5-1 win in 12 innings.
“We’ve been swinging the bats so well and today we were just minus,” puzzled Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “There’s really no solid explanation. I can’t stand here and say the Yankees pitched great. We just did not have a good offensive day.”
Yangervis Solarte was walked by Heath Bell (0-1) to open the 12th. Brett Gardner reached on a fielder’s choice and went to third on Brian McCann’s two-out single. Jacoby Ellsbury was intentionally walked by rookie C.J. Riefenhauder to load the bases before Dean Anna checked his swing to draw a walk and force in the go-ahead run. Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single off Josh Leuke before Alfonso Soriano added an RBI single to close the scoring.
Preston Claiborne (1-0) went two scoreless innings for the Yankees.
The teams split a wild four-game series that started with the Yankees’ routing David Price 10-2 on Thursday.
“That’s a big win after winning the first game the way we did, and then to really get beat up the next two days,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
“To get back and hold serve during this series is really nice,” Maddon said, “but when you have a chance to go to 3-1 and miss out on that attempt when you only give up one run in nine innings, in 10 innings, in 11 innings, you’d like to be able to win that game at home.”
New York took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Gardner was given an RBI double after a challenge by Girardi. The umpires first ruled that Rays right fielder Wil Myers had caught Gardner’s drive at the wall for the third out. The call was overturned following a 2-minute, 17-second delay when replays clearly showed Myers caught the ball after it hit off the top of the wall.
“I guess that’s one of the times you don’t like replay, when it goes against you like that,” said Rays starter Cesar Ramos, who gave up one run on four hits in five innings.
Matt Joyce drove in the Rays’ only run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
NOTES: The Rays optioned Riefenhauser to Triple-A Durham after the game. RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo will be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday’s game. … Tampa Bay CF Desmond Jennings (groin) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. … Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2-0) and Red Sox LHP Jon Lester (2-2) will start in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. … Rays LHP David Price (2-1) and Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson (3-0) will pitch Tuesday night to start a three-game series. … Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff got a marriage proposal from her boyfriend just before throwing the ceremonial first pitch.