Rays Blanked By Yankees Rookie

The Tampa Bay Rays lost 5-0 to the New York Yankees on Friday night in New York.  The loss for the Rays was their 12th in the last 14 games at Yankee Stadium. 

Tampa Bay were able to get baserunners on in each of the first seven innings but were unable to break through against Yankees starter Jonathan Loaisiga, who was making his major league debut.  And while the Rays couldn’t get a key hit with runners on base, the Yankees put up single runs in the third & sixth innings against Rays starter Nathan Eovaldi.

In the bottom of the second, New York got a leadoff double from first baseman Greg Bird.  But Eovaldi was able to get the next two batters.  And even after an error by second baseman Joey Wendle, the Rays starter got out of the inning without any damage by striking out Yankees’ rookie Gleyber Torres. 

After escaping the bottom of the second inning without allowing a run, Eovaldi got the first two outs in the third inning.  But on the first pitch in his second at bat of the night, shortstop Didi Gregorius drilled a pitch into the second deck in rightfield, giving New York the first run of the game.

Despite giving up the solo home run, Eovaldi was able to get through the next two innings on a total of 22 pitches.  He worked a perfect fourth inning.  Then in the fifth, he allowed a leadoff single but he helped himself out by starting a 1-6-3 double play that ended the inning.

Meanwhile the Rays batters were facing Loaisiga, who was pitching above Double A for the first time in his career.  And Loaisiga, despite allowing a baserunner in each of the five innings he pitched, did more than hold his own.  The native of Nicaragua allowed no runs, three hits & walked four while striking out six batters.  And after he left the game, the Yankees were able to push across a run in the sixth when rightfielder Aaron Judge doubled to right to start the inning & scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton.

Eovaldi got Torres to strike out again, this time to end the seventh.  And he came out for the eighth but after getting one out, Judge & Gregorius hit back to back singles with both runners advancing on the throw to third.  That ended Eovaldi’s night with Rays manager Kevin Cash giving the ball to Jonny Venters.  And after intentionally walking Stanton, Venters was able to strike out Bird.  But catcher Gary Sanchez won the battle against Venters when he hit a liner to rightfield that Johnny Field dove for but was unable to glove.  The ball got past Field, clearing the bases & giving New York a 5-0 lead.

The Rays will look to end their two game losing streak on Saturday & get a win in New York when they send righty Ryan Stanek (1-1 2.76) to the mound.  And the Yankees counter with their ace righty Luis Severino (9-2 2.27).  Coverage begins with Steve Carney at noon with The Inside Pitch on 620 WDAE & first pitch is at 1:05pm.

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