Bartolo Colon had another strong outing, but the Yankee offense couldn't get anything going against Jeremy Hellickson and company and fell to the Rays, 3-1.
L - Brett Gardner (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (DH)
S - Jorge Posada (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
R - Russell Martin (C)
S - Ramiro Peña (SS)
R - Eduardo Nuñez (LF)
R - Justin Maxwell (RF)
Pitchers (IP): Bartolo Colon (6), Manny Bañuelos (2)
Subs: Jorge Vazquez (1B), Kevin Russo (2B), Doug Bernier (SS), Brandon Laird (3B), Austin Romine (C), Melky Mesa (CF), Jordan Parraz (LF), Jesus Montero (DH)
Formidable Opponents: Six of the Rays' regulars and four innings of Jeremy Hellickson.
Big Hits: The Yankees had just four singles in the game. No batter reached base twice, and their lone run scored on a walk and a stolen base by Brett Gardner, and a pair of groundouts, the latter requiring a hard slide at second base from Melky Mesa to prevent an inning-ending double play.
Who Pitched Well: Bartolo Colon struck out five against no walks in six innings while allowing just two hits. The first was a Johnny Damon single in the first. The second was a Kelly Shoppach solo homer in the sixth. He retired 15 in a row between those two hits and just three of the 18 outs he recorded came on fly balls. Colon was sitting in the low 90s with his fastball, hitting 93, and had to burn off excess pitches in the bullpen after leaving the game.
Who Didn't: Manny Bañuelos wasn't awful, but he did take the loss by allowing four baserunners and giving up two runs in two innings. Dan Johnson homered off him in the seventh, though he was the only Ray to reach base in that frame. Singles by Sean Rodriguez and catcher Jose Lobaton produced another run in the eighth, after which Bañuelos walked Elliot Johnson before getting the final two outs, the first in the frame having come on a sacrifice bunt.
Rotation Battle: Bartolo Colon dropped his spring ERA to 2.40 and has now struck out 17 men in 15 innings against just one walk and one home run. Counting on him for more than a handful of starts scares the heck out of me, but it's hard to argue he hasn't earned a spot.
Ouchies: Eric Chavez has been shut down until Friday following calf spasms. Joba Chamberlain (oblique) will pitch in Tuesday's game. Pedro Feliciano (sore upper arm) threw 25 pitches in the bullpen and reported no discomfort. Greg Golson (oblique) took batting practice and could play in Tuesday's game.
Oopsies: Bartolo Colon threw wild on a pickoff attempt of Damon in the first, moving him to second, but stranded him there. Ramiro Peña was caught stealing second while representing the tying run with one out in the seventh.
Other: Mariano Rivera threw two innings in a minor league game on Monday.
Next: Sergio Mitre starts against the Orioles in Sarasota. YES (or ESPN if you're out of market) will have the game live at 1:05 pm.