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Yankees Begin Homestand With Second Shutout Loss in a Row

Starting a challenging homestand on Monday night, the Yankees continued to struggle, losing 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
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NEW YORK — Fresh off a miserable three-city road trip, including a shutout loss to the Red Sox in Boston on Sunday night, the Yankees produced yet another lifeless performance.  

New York lost 4-0 to the Rays on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, their 10th loss in 12 games since the trade deadline.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole stepped up and delivered six strong innings, doing his best to be a stopper for those in pinstripes. He didn't get any run support—or defensive support—behind him, though.

The only run Cole allowed came after Aaron Hicks misplayed a deep fly ball in center field in the top of the fourth. An otherwise routine flyout off the bat of David Peralta turned into a leadoff triple—Isaac Paredes drove in the go-ahead run a few pitches later on an RBI single through the left side. 

Tampa Bay proceeded to pour it on in the top of the ninth, sending Yankees fans swarming en masse to the exits.

New York scattered seven hits in the ballgame, but missed opportunities and untimely double plays were the story.

In the bottom of the first, Gleyber Torres set the tone with a first-pitch single, snapping an 0-for-20 stretch. On the very next pitch, Aaron Judge grounded into a double play.

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That scenario repeated itself in the eighth as New York searched unsuccessfully for a spark on offense. Torres led the inning off with a single before Judge pounded another double play ball to shortstop, effectively ending the threat.

Sandwiched between Judge's double plays came the other half of Hicks' nightmarish night in the Bronx. 

Stepping up to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Hicks poked a ground ball back to the pitcher, allowing the Rays to turn two and get out of the jam unscathed.

Factoring in back-to-back shutouts, the Yankees have now scored just three runs in their last 34 innings, dating back to the third inning on Friday at Fenway Park. All three of those runs in that span were driven in by shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa (in Saturday's improbable win over the Red Sox), one coming on a squeeze play.

New York has an opportunity to turn this around again on Tuesday night against Tampa Bay. Their schedule doesn't get any easier during this homestand, though. After finishing this three-game set with the Rays, the Yankees will host the Blue Jays and Mets before heading out to the West Coast. 

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