WP: W. Davis (9-9) LP: P. Hughes (12-4)
SV. R. Soriano (29)
Tough loss for the Yanks last night in Tampa, as Matt Joyce, Wade Davis, and the Rays cut the Yanks lead in the division to one with a 3-2 win over the Bombers.
Two batters into the game, Nick Swisher gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead with a two-run bomb off Rays starter Wade Davis. It was a great start by the Yanks, but the great start would be short-lived, Davis would settle down, and those two runs would be it for the them on this night.
They wouldn't even have too many chances, as Davis held them to just two singles and three walks over the next six. For the game the Yankees would have just two at-bats with runners in scoring position and left just 4 men on base. Oh, and no #600 for A-Rod once again, and it's starting to look like he's getting frustrated.
On the Yankees side of things, Phil Hughes started off the game very well. In fact, for five innings he outpitched Davis and maintained a 2-0 lead. Then, in the sixth, he would make one mistake and it would cost the Yankees the game.
John Jaso led off the inning with a single, then with one out Evan Longoria walked. After making a few good pitches to get Carlos Pena to ground out, Hughes looked like he was going to get out of it with the light-hitting Matt Joyce coming to the plate. But Hughes left a 2-2 fastball up in the zone, Joyce hammered it deep to right, and the Rays now led 3-2. It was just Joyce's 4th homer of the season.
Davis would complete seven and the Rays handed the ball to their lights-out bullpen, something I wish the Yankees had. Joaquin Benoit handled the eighth with ease, and then Rafael Soriano took care of the ninth and the Rays moved to just one game back in the East.
One positive of the night was the performance of Joba Chamberlain. He retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth, three on strikeouts. I'm hesitant to get too excited out this, because we've seen him look great one day and then get bombed the next. But it was certainly an outing he can take confidence from. Hopefully it leads to more outings like this as the season rolls on.
Game two of this series, a game I think the Yankees need to win, comes tonight in Tampa. Must win or not, it's going to be a tough one, with Javier Vazquez going up against Matt Garza. First pitch is at 7:10 pm, and the game will be on YES and the MLB network.