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Yankees 1, Rays 2: Offense no-shows series opener in Tampa

CC Sabathia gave the Bombers a chance, but the bats couldn’t get the job done.

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

This game got off to a slow start. Both teams had plenty of chances early, but the game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Rays struck first and had a 2-0 lead headed into the top of the seventh. Although the Yankees were able to cut their deficit in half, one run was all the offense could muster against Tampa Bay’s bullpen. Annoyingly, the Rays’ bullpen strategy worked out today.

The Yankees’ leadoff man made it to second base in each of the first two innings, but never made it home. In the first, Brett Gardner advanced to third, and Didi Gregorius worked a two-out walk. Gary Sanchez flew out at the warning track to end the threat. Ryan Yarbrough took over in the second inning, and Aaron Hicks greeted him with an 11-pitch at-bat before he doubled to the wall. However, he ended up being left stranded as well. The offense failed to get anything going over the next four innings.

It was a decent night for CC Sabathia, though he worked his way into trouble early. In the bottom of the first, the Rays loaded the bases on two hits and a walk, but he escaped the jam. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the Rays got on the board. With one out, Daniel Robertson knocked a double down the third base line. Carlos Gomez was hit in the wrist by a pitch, then Willy Adames followed with an RBI.

The Rays tacked on another run in the fifth. Matt Duffy started the bottom half with an infield single that bounced off of Sabathia’s glove. Duffy would have been safe either way, but Sabathia flipped the ball over Greg Bird’s head. It rolled into the outfield, and Duffy advanced to second on the error. Wilson Ramos followed with another infield hit on a ball that kicked away from Miguel Andujar. The Yankees were lucky to escape the inning having surrendered just one run. C.J. Cron came close to knocking in a couple runs, but Giancarlo Stanton made a leaping catch at the wall to limit him to a sac fly.

The Yankees offense finally woke up in the seventh inning. After Gleyber Torres worked a one-out walk, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge hit back-to-back singles to bring him home. Other than that, the Yankees only managed five hits tonight. On the plus side, Sanchez had several hard-hit balls, including two at the warning track.

Adam Warren took over for Sabathia with one out and one on in the bottom of the seventh. The Rays promptly loaded the bases, but Duffy grounded out before any damage was done. The Yankees sent Luis Cessa out for the last two innings in his first appearance since being activated from the disabled list. He issued back-to-back walks on four straight pitches, but didn’t give up a hit. Cessa gave the Yankees a fighting chance heading into the ninth inning. The offense just didn’t have it in them tonight.

Hopefully the offense shows up tomorrow. They’ll be back at it at 4:10 ET with Sonny Gray set to take on Wilmer Font on FS1.