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Yankees 3, Rays 6: Bullpen falters as second magical comeback attempt falls short

The Yankees were in position to make another crazy comeback. They just couldn't quite complete it.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Down to their last out in the ninth, the Yankees put a runner on. Then they got another. After last night's game, you could be forgiven for dreaming big and thinking the Yankees could pull off another crazy comeback. Unfortunately, this one wasn't meant to be. The Rays closed the door on the Yankees, coming away with a 6-3 win.

The Yankees' offense got off to a much better start today than they did yesterday. With two outs in the first, Alex Rodriguez crushed a solo home run to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead.

The Rays didn't take long to answer back, however. John Jaso led off the game for Tampa Bay with a single. Grady Sizemore then managed just drop a hit into left field. Jaso tried to go to third, but Gardner alertly threw him out. Despite catching that break, the inning didn't go much better for Yankees' starter Adam Warren after that. An Evan Longoria single moved Sizemore to third. Sizemore would then score on a Logan Forsythe single. Warren then got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play, but the game was now tied at one.

In the next inning, the Rays proceeded to take the lead.  Mikie Mahtook picked up a one-out double to start things. After Kevin Kiermaier struck out, Mahtook stole third during JP Arencibia's at bat. Brian McCann's throw got past Chase Headley, allowing Mahtook to score. That made it 2-1 Rays.

In the top of the fourth, the seesaw swung back in favor of the Yankees. Rodriguez led off the inning by drawing a walk. After McCann and Carlos Beltran both made outs, Greg Bird came to the plate. On the tenth pitch of a long at bat, Bird hit a long home run to straight away center. That put the Yankees back on top.

Warren was done after four innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out six. James Pazos and Nick Rumbelow combined to get into and out of trouble in the fifth. Rumbelow came back out for the sixth inning, but that didn't go fantastically. After Forsythe led off with a single, Nick Franklin hit a two-run home run to give the Rays the lead again.

After that, the Yankees cobbled together scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh from a combination of Chasen Shreve and Branden Pinder. Bryan Mitchell was brought in to pitch the eighth and he got himself into jam. He allowed a one-out single to James Loney. Mahtook then added a single, putting two on with one out. Mitchell got Kiermaier to ground one to Bird. The Yankees got the force out at second, but they couldn't double up Kiermaier. Arencibia then blooped one to right field. Rico Noel made a valiant effort at getting to the ball, but he came up short and the ball bounced in for a hit. It scored two runs and it was suddenly 6-3 Tampa Bay.

The Yankees had one last chance in the top of the ninth. After the Rays got the first two outs, a pinch-hitting Dustin Ackley kept the game alive with a single. A slumping Jacoby Ellsbury then got some luck, when his grounder hit off Loney's glove and bounced down the right field line. He advanced to second and Ackley moved to third. That brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Brett Gardner. Unfortunately, there would be no repeat of last night's magic. Gardner flew out to end the game. The Rays took game two of the series with a 6-3 win.

The Yankees and Rays wrap up their series in the Trop tomorrow at 7:10 eastern. Luis Severino and Chris Archer will be the starting pitchers.

Box score.