While it was only against a, uh, less-than-stellar Athletics’ team, the Yankees came into this game against the first-place Rays on a high. They had scored 28 runs over their three previous games, cracking double digits in the last two. Aaron Judge was back in the lineup, and there were some reason to feel better after the previous couple weeks had felt like a drudge.
Well on Thursday night, things were back to feeling like a drudge. Drew Rasmussen continued his domination of the Yankees, throwing seven shutout innings, to increase his career total of 21 scoreless innings against the Bombers. Domingo Germán was solid for the Yankees, allowing two runs in 5.2 innings, but things went badly after he exited. The Rays tacked on a bunch more runs off the Yankees’ bullpen as they eventually came away with an 8-2 victory.
The game was a pitchers’ duel early, with Germán’s getting into and out of trouble in the first inning being the only real frame of note. Eventually the deadlock got broken in the fifth, after a rather unfortunate sequence for the Yankees. With one out in the first inning, Anthony Rizzo made a rare defensive miscue as a Josh Lowe grounder skipped off his glove. While Germán then got a pop up for the second out, Yandy Díaz then ripped a double to left field. That was enough to score Lowe and get the Rays on the board.
An inning later, Germán got two quick outs before issuing a walk. That would be the end of his day as Aaron Boone went to the bullpen. Ron Marinaccio replaced him, but he had trouble getting the last out of the inning. After allowing a single to Luke Raley, Marinaccio hit Manuel Margot to load the bases. That brought Josh Lowe to the plate again, this time he reached base without the defense assisting him, and did so in nearly the worst way possible for the Yankees. He split Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge with a perfectly-placed double, clearing the bases to increase Tampa Bay’s lead to four.
As noted by James Smyth of YES Network below, Marinaccio had been excellent so far in 2023, but Thursday was just a mess for him.
This was a shocker— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) May 12, 2023
In 14 games before this, Marinaccio had allowed 3 earned runs and only 2 extra-base hits. And going back to last year's debut, his .144 opponent batting average and .229 opponent slugging percentage led all AL relievers with 50+ innings. https://t.co/Pptzs6Gyuw
Albert Abreu came in for the seventh inning, but he ran into some trouble as well. He got two quick outs but then issued walks to Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe. Taylor Walls then cracked a two-bagger to right, which scored Arozarena. Abreu managed to keep it from becoming even worse than that, but the Yankees’ hole had only gotten deeper.
Ryan Weber, fresh off a call-up, got the eighth inning, but he quickly allowed a single and then a 435-foot home run to Josh Lowe. Francisco Mejía and Isaac Paredes then each doubled, scoring yet another run. Basically, the only thing that went wrong for Tampa Bay was Wander Franco exiting with some sort of neck injury after his third at-bat.
The only blemishes against Rasmussen came from two singles from Jake Bauers. The Rays starter exited after seven brilliant innings, shutting them out on just 76 pitches. New York finally got a runner in scoring position against the Rays bullpen on Willie Calhoun’s double in the ninth. After that, the Yankees loaded the bases and plated two runs thanks to a Gleyber Torres single. All that did was end the shutout though, and Bauers struck out to finish off the loss.
Hopefully, things will go better tomorrow as the Yankees send Gerrit Cole to the hill as he looks for a bit of revenge from the last time he faced Tampa Bay. The Rays have yet to announce who they are starting. First pitch will once again be at 7:05pm ET.