Yanks lose to Rays 6-3, which could lead to more exits
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The New York Yankees' second consecutive loss to Tampa Bay could push them to deal more veterans as the trade deadline pushes.
Drew Smyly struck out Alex Rodriguez three times en route to stopping an 11-start winless streak, and the Rays sent the Yankees to their third straight loss, 6-3 Saturday night.
New York had won eight of 10 to reach a season-best four games over .500 before the skid but dropped to 52-51. Having already traded closer Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees could deal right fielder Carlos Beltran, pitcher Ivan Nova, reliever Andrew Miller or others before Monday's deadline to make trades without waivers.
''They're frustrating losses,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''We've been inconsistent all season long.''
San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox both had two scouts at the game. Others teams scouting the series include Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Texas, Toronto and Washington.
''I can't worry about that,'' Girardi said.
Not even a night off could keep Yankees catcher Brian McCann out of the spotlight. He was asked about the possibility Atlanta would try to reacquire the former Braves star.
''I'm focusing on winning games here,'' said McCann, who added that he has not been approached about waiving his no-trade provision.
Rodriguez, out of the starting lineup the previous six games, struck out in all four of his at-bats to tie his personal high. The 41-year-old designated hitter has two hits in his last 26 at-bats, dropping his season average to .206.
''I didn't do myself any favors tonight, that's for sure,'' Rodriguez said. ''I swung at balls and took strikes. It's been a frustrating season all the way around.''
Girardi wouldn't say if Rodriguez will be his DH on Sunday against rookie left-hander Blake Snell.
''The second half has been a struggle,'' Girardi said of Rodriguez. ''And it was a struggle for him tonight.''
Smyly (3-11) gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, and Alex Colome worked the ninth to get his 24th save. Tampa Bay is 7-5 since losing 24 of 27.
''Tonight was the best he's felt with his curveball in quite some time,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Brad Miller hit a solo homer in the first, and Curt Casali had a two-run drive during the third. Tim Beckham made it 6-2 on a two-run shot in the seventh off Anthony Swarzak.
Brett Gardner and Chase Headley homered for the Yankees. Nathan Eovaldi (9-7) allowed three runs and three hits in six innings.
Yankees: RHP Bryan Mitchell could start a minor league rehab assignment in the next week, four months after surgery to repair a toe tear on his left foot. Mitchell had a rain-shortened 21-pitch simulated game and said he feels great and ''absolutely'' expects to pitch in the majors this season. ... LHP Jacob Lindgren, out since late April with a left elbow injury, also pitched a simulated game.
Rays: RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) made his third rehab start, striking out five over three hitless innings for Double-A Montgomery.
ELLSBURY'S GROWING RECORD
New York's Jacoby Ellsbury extended his season record for times reaching base on catcher's interference to 10 when it happened again in the eighth inning
Yankees RHP Michael Pineda (5-9) will face Snell (2-4. Pineda has won his last two starts.