The day after Aaron Boone’s stern talk with the Yankees, they came up empty once again.
The Yankees cleaned up their act defensively and even showed some late life offensively, but the end result was still the same: They lost a fourth straight game, falling 6-3 to the Rays on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The game hardly soothed the frustrations that had arisen on Friday night, when the Yankees committed three errors and had another quiet game offensively in an 8-2 loss. Boone addressed his team after that game, and while his players said he got his message across, it did not lead to immediate dividends Saturday, as the Yankees fell to 5-9 on the season and have the worst record in the American League.
Rays ace Tyler Glasnow lacked command early, but the Yankees could not take advantage, managing just one run before he settled into a groove. The Yankees attempted to mount a comeback in the seventh inning, behind Rougned Odor’s solo home run and Aaron Judge’s RBI double that made it 5-3, but Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton struck out to end the threat.
Jordan Montgomery provided the Yankees a solid start, giving up four runs over six-plus innings as he delivered much-needed rest to a bullpen that recently has been taxed. He allowed just two hits, but both were home runs. He was charged for the fourth run in the seventh inning when Manuel Margot came around to score on Joey Wendle’s two-run shot off reliever Jonathan Loaisiga.
The Yankees had their chances to pounce immediately against Glasnow, who was all over the place with his pitches early on, but could not take advantage. They loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning, but Brett Gardner grounded out to end the threat.
Glasnow walked two more batters to lead off the second inning, leading to DJ LeMahieu’s RBI single that tied the game at one. But Judge struck out and Hicks lined out to strand two more runners.
Francisco Mejia had given the Rays a lead in the top of the second inning with a solo home run to the short porch in right field. After the Yankees tied the game, the Rays turned to the long ball again to take another lead in the fourth inning, this time a two-run shot from Margot to make it 3-1.
Glasnow eventually settled in, retiring eight straight before LeMahieu walked to lead off the fifth. The Rays right-hander finished off his day strong, though, with strikeouts of Judge and Stanton helping him get through the inning with the two-run lead intact.
The Yankees lost Gary Sanchez in the fifth inning after the catcher took a foul tip off his exposed right hand in the top of the fourth inning. X-rays were negative, though, and the Yankees termed Sanchez as day-to-day with a contusion to his right index and middle fingers.
The Rays added an insurance run in the ninth inning when Mejia roped an RBI double off Justin Wilson.