Skip to main content

Paredes Sets Home Run Record, But Rays Lose Late To Yankees Again

The Tampa Bay Rays let a three-run lead slip away and lost to the New York Yankees 5-4 on Wednesday night, with base-running blunders and some Yankees long balls making the difference. The Rays have lost five games to the Yankees in the last eight days, by a total of seven runs.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — You don't have to be perfect to beat the red-hot New York Yankees these days, but you need to be pretty close.

The Tampa Bay Rays were nowhere near close Wednesday night, despite dropping another one-run game, this time 5-4 to lose to the Yanks for the fifth time in the past week and change.

They lost because of more horrific base-running, eight walks from their pitchers and three home runs from the Yankees at inopportune times. Throw in some questionable choices with a ''gassed'' bullpen, and it was a recipe for disaster at the end, ruining a delightful start to the game.

The Rays went 1-5 against the Yankees since last Tuesday, and the five losses were by a total of seven runs. Every Rays mistake got magnified, and there were plenty of them to go around on Wednesday.

Close isn't good enough.  

"They're the best team in baseball, but it shows that we're a really good team,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We're just not capitalizing on opportunities that we're capable of doing. We didn't make the big pitch, we didn't get the big hit. The big play, all three things kind of came up and bit us.''

The game started much better than it ended.  The Rays scored three times in the second inning, with second baseman Isaac Paredes hitting a lead-off home run, his fourth in four at-bats, which set a Rays team record. Right fielder Vidal Brujan followed with a two-run homer and the Rays had an early 3-0 lead off of New York starter Jordan Montgomery.

Aaron Judge made it 3-1 in the fourth with a solo home run, but the Rays got the run right back in the bottom of the inning when Francisco Mejia led off with a double, went to third on a fly ball and scored on a groundout from Brujan.

The Rays wasted a great scoring opportunity to pile on in the inning. They had loaded the bases again, and Ji-Man Choi was at the plate. But Walls got picked off of third base to end the inning. It was the 33rd time this season where a Rays player was thrown out on the base paths, an MLB-high. (Randy Arozarena made it 34 the next inning when he was thrown out at second trying to stretch out a single.)

Shane Baz started for the Rays and was crisp early, but things started to unravel a bit in the fifth inning. He gave up a single to Yankees catcher Jose Trevino, then walked two straight batters to load the bases. He was able to strike out Judge for the second out, but then Cash gave him the hook so lefty Brooks Raley could face the left-handed hitting Anthony Rizzo. He lined out to Taylor Walls to end the threat.

Baz left throwing 78 pitches, allowing just four hits and that one run. Cash didn't hesitate going to the bullpen that early.

"In the moment, you could make an argument that that was going to be the biggest out of the ballgame with Raley facing Rizzo,'' Cash said. "It's fairly obvious that we were a little gassed in the pen, probably from the night before and previous usage. It kind of caught up to us at the end. We knew we were thin, and it just didn't work out.''

Scroll to Continue

Read More

No, it didn't because there were still 12 outs to get and, as it turned out, the Rays didn't have enough arms left to get to the finish line. Raley threw just those three pitches, and then Jason Adam had to come in at get Calvin Faucher out of trouble in the sixth when the Yankees scored a run on a Taylor Walls throwing error. Adam got the final out on three pitches, but he didn't come back for the seventh either.

Cash went with Colin Poche in the seventh, which seemed odd. He closed out Tuesday's win, but the final out was a broken-bat shot to the warning track by Judge. He was Poche's first hitter, and Judge hit another homer deep into the left field seats to make it 4-3. It was his league-leading 27th homer of the year, and his sixth multi-homer game of the season.

 Poche was gassed too after 15 pitches, and Ryan Thompson had to come in to get the final out of the seventh.

That meant Ralph Garza Jr. was the last healthy arm left in the pen. He's only pitched once since June 5, and he's been to Durham and back in that time, too. It was a prime-time moment, and he didn't handle it well.

In the eighth, he walked lead-off hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa on five pitches, and then got to a full count with Trevino. Garza grooved a 77 mph slider and Trevino hit it into the seats in left field.

"The walks (hurt). It goes without saying that that team is going to capitalize on opportunities. Free passes came about,'' Cash said. "We're pitching some young guys in sticky situations. They're going to be better for it, but it still stings a little bit in the moment. 

"That's not on Garza, not at all. That's on me as much as anybody. We optioned him and he came back and he had a layoff there and it caught up with us. He hasn't pitched much.'' 

It was a tough loss to swallow, because this team isn't built on moral victories. As good as the Yankees are — they are 51-18 now and 14 games ahead of the Rays — keeping it close isn't good enough.

But it does also show they aren't far off if they can eliminate some mistakes here and there.

"That's two good teams playing each other, and they're always going to be close games.'' Baz said. "It's a sour taste, but I think everyone in here is confident we can play at a high level with them.''

The Rays are off on Thursday, and then they'll be back at home this weekend, hosting a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • PAREDES LEADS RAYS (Tuesday): For just the seventh time in franchise history, Tampa Bay's Isaac Paredes hit three home runs on Tuesday night, leading the Rays to an important 5-4 victory over the New York Yankees. The 23-year-old Mexican now has a team-leading eight home runs on the season. CLICK HERE
  • RAYS 3-HOMER HISTORY: For the seventh time in Rays history, a player hit three home runs in a game. This time it was Isaac Paredes with three dingers. Here's the story of all seven homers, with a lot of interesting names in the history report. CLICK HERE
  • YANKEES RALLY LATE TO BEAT RAYS (Monday): The Tampa Bay Rays lost more than just a baseball game on Monday night, falling 4-2 to the New York Yankees late, but also losing two starting outfielders — Kevin Kiermaier and Manuel Margot — to injuries in the process as their rough patch continues. They're just 2-8 in their last 10 games. CLICK HERE
  • KIERMAIER, MARGOT TO IL: The Tampa Bay outfield took a big hit Monday night, with Kevin Kiermaier and Manuel Margot going down with injuries. Kiermaier needed a cortisone shot for his hip, and is hoping to be back soon. The news on Margot's knee injury is not good, though, and he is expected to miss ''substantial'' time. CLICK HERE
  • RAYS 2022 SCHEDULE: Here is the Rays' complete schedule for 2022, with results and stats thus far, and gametimes and locations for the rest of the year. CLICK HERE