The Rays came into this three-game set in the Bronx with a chance to make a statement, and boy did they. The Yankees were swept away, relinquishing their lead in the AL East. They now trail the Rays by a half-game.
It looked for a while like they might salvage the finale of the series, as James Paxton didn’t allow a hit through four innings. The left-hander ran into trouble in the middle innings, however, much like his last start against the Rays two turns ago. An early lead quickly turned into a late deficit, one that would not be overcome thanks to a leaky bullpen.
Winner of the Game
Not many players are running hotter than Luke Voit right now. Voit tallied three hits and opened the scoring with a solo shot in the first, his fifth home run in the last four games:
Voit now owns a .311/.386/.730 slash line on the year, and is tied with Mike Trout atop the AL leaderboard with ten homers.
After an excellent first couple weeks of the season, Gio Urshela had cooled off a bit, entering this game three for his last 30. He turned things around, giving the Yankees a two-run lead with an RBI double in the second, then reclaiming the lead in the fifth with a two-run homer:
Unfortunately for the Yankees and Urshela, those leads he so valiantly claimed would not last.
Loser of the Game
The Yankees’ relief corps failed on the day they placed their top setup man, Zack Britton, on the IL with a hamstring injury. Adam Ottavino relieved Paxton in the sixth and yielded three runs, one of which was a runner inherited by Luis Avilan, who allowed a pair of his own runs as the Rays stormed to an 8-4 lead. Jonathan Holder managed two scoreless frames, but Luis Cessa surrendered a two-run dinger in the ninth to give the Rays some more cushion. Not a banner day for a group that’s mostly performed well even while losing arms this year.