Ivan Nova had a pretty decent day on the mound. Nova continued his recent success by going seven innings, allowing one run on six hits and three walks, while he struck out eight. Problem was that Chris Archer was better and the Yankees' offense was putrid. Archer threw a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and no walks, completely shutting down the Yankees, as the Rays came away with a 1-0 win.
The Rays came fairly close to opening the scoring in the first inning but Nova got out of it. They then had an even better chance in the fourth inning. Wil Myers led off the inning with a double, followed by James Loney drawing a walk. With runners on first and second with no outs, Nova struck out Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce and Kelly Johnson to get out of that jam damage-free.
It took until the fourth inning for the Yankees to get a baserunner. With one out in the inning, Ichiro Suzuki reached on an error after Even Longoria mishandled a grounder. That was immediately erased when Robinson Cano grounded into a inning-ending double play. The first Yankee hit finally did come the next inning, when Lyle Overbay hit a one-out single, That ended the no-hit possibility, which wasn't looking that far-fetched at the time. Vernon Wells then nearly erased that with another inning-ending double play, but he ended up beating out the throw to first. Next batter, Eduardo Nunez, grounded into a force out at second to end the inning anyway.
The game's first (and only) run came in the sixth inning. Loney started it off by hitting a one-out single. Zobrist came up next and he grounded into a force out at second. Joyce was up next. Zobrist stole second during the at bat, but Joyce ended up walking anyway. Next was Kelly Johnson, who singled to center. Zobrist came around to score, givingthe Rays the lead. Nova fought back and struck out Jose Molina to get out of the inning, preventing further damage.
The Yankees second hit came in the sixth inning when Brett Gardner hit a ground rule double. But that too amounted to nothing as it came with two outs and Ichiro then struck out to end the inning.
Nova's day finished after the seventh inning. It was another pretty good outing from Nova, continuing his recent good form from the last couple starts.
David Robertson came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but that was followed up by another 1-2-3 inning from the offense. Shawn Kelley was brought in for the top of the ninth. After getting Molina to ground out, Kelley gave up a double to Yunel Escobar. Considering that one run was proving difficult for the Yankees to get, two runs seemed impossible. Thankfully, Kelley struck out Jennings and Longoria to keep the deficit at, a moderately impossible, one run.
Archer came back out for the bottom of the ninth to try and finish off his complete game. Stewart, Gardner and Ichiro went down easily, with only moderate resistance from Gardner. Archer threw a complete game shutout with less than 100 pitches, as the Rays won 1-0.
The Yankees and Rays close out their series in the Bronx tomorrow at 1:05 eastern. Phil Hughes will go for the Yankees, while Matt Moore will start for the Rays. It would be nice if the offense could show up.