Chris Archer's three runs allowed in the second inning proved to be too much for the Tampa Bay Rays to rally from, as they dropped the rubber match in their three-game series at Citi Field to the New York Yankees 3-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Archer (9-10) started the second inning by allowing three straight singles to give New York the lead. Starlin Castro singled to center, moving to third on Jacoby Ellsbury's base hit to right and scoring on Todd Frazier's single. Austin Romine drew a one-out walk to load the bases and Brett Gardner singled in both Ellsbury and Frazier for a 3-0 lead.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the bottom of the third on Kevin Kiermaier's 13th home run of the year, a solo shot off Yankees starter Jaime Garcia.
Both starters would exit in the fifth, and while the Tampa Bay bullpen allowed no more runs, the Rays would scratch across a run on Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, as Betances gave up a base hit to Evan Longoria and Chapman gave up a walk to Steven Souza Jr. and a RBI single by Adeint Hechaverria to cut the deficit back to 3-2. But Chapman struck out Wilson Ramos to end the inning, then struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 18th save.
The loss dropped the Rays back to three games under .500 at 72-75.
Tampa Bay will return home to Tropicana Field to welcome the Boston Red Sox for a weekend series. Matt Andriese (5-3, 4.46 ERA) will get the start in Friday evening's opener, taking on Chris Sale (16-7, 2.76 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.