The Tampa Bay Rays were officially eliminated from the postseason race Tuesday night, as the New York Yankees defeated them in the opener of their three-game series in the Bronx 6-1.
The Rays looked like they were going to jump on Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery early, as they loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. and a walk to Evan Longoria. Logan Morrison struck out for the first out, and Wilson Ramos lifted a pitch that appeared to be leaving the ballpark. However, Aaron Hicks went over the right-centerfield fence to take away the potential grand slam, though Kiermaier scored to make it 1-0.
Blake Snell put up a scoreless bottom of the first, but could not find his command in the second. Starlin Castro led off the inning by tying the game with his 15th home run of the year. Snell (4-7) then allowed consecutive singles by Todd Frazier, Clint Frazier, and Ronald Torreyes to load the bases before issuing consecutive bases-loaded walks to Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge before exiting down 3-1.
Chaz Roe got Gary Sanchez to line into a double play but issued a wild pitch that allowed Torreyes to come home and make it 4-1.
Roe worked a scoreless third, and Andrew Kittredge, Brad Boxberger, Sergio Romo, and Dan Jennings each worked scoreless innings each. However, Austin Pruitt issued a one-out walk to Torreyes and a two-out free pass to Judge before Sanchez singled in Torreyes to make it 5-1 and Holliday's infield single plated to Judge to set the score at 6-1.
Montgomery (9-7) worked the first six innings for the Yankees, and Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, and Dellin Betances each worked a scoreless inning to finish off the game.
The loss drops Tampa Bay back to five games under 500 at 76-81 and ensures they can finish no better than .500 on the season.
The same two teams clash Wednesday evening, with Matt Andriese (5-4, 4.44 ERA) taking on Luis Severino (13-6, 3.03 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.