NEW YORK — Typically Rays LHP Enny Romero gets in trouble because he can't throw enough strikes.
In Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Yankees, he drew the ire and scorn of manager Kevin Cash by throwing a ball too close to the plate, turning what was supposed to be an intentional walk of sizzling Gary Sanchez into a run-scoring fly.
"I'm not really going to talk about it other than to say it's embarrassing," Cash said. "That's embarrassing."
Romero said he knew what he was supposed to do with runners on third and second and no outs, but failed because the ball slipped from his sweaty hand.
"I go to throw my pitch and the ball falls out of my hand," he said. "That's why I throw it like (that). I was angry with me because I don't want to throw that pitch in the zone. …
"The ball was a little bit off my hand and then I throw. I can't stop. If I stop it's balk anyway."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi claimed they were aware of the possibility for a misfire given Romero's troubles throwing to first base.
ARCHER'S RECORD DAY: RHP Chris Archer ended the day with his 18th loss, tying the franchise record set by RHP Tanyon Sturtze on a 2002 Devil Rays team that lost 106 games.
But Archer actually had a good game, shutting the Yankees out through five then giving up three runs during a quick blitz to start the sixth, allowing a single to Brett Gardner and back-to-back homers to Jacoby Ellsbury and Sanchez, his 13th in 32 games since his Aug. 3 promotion.
Cash said Archer was at his sharpest of the season, calling his work over seven innings "awesome" and "outstanding. … I love the way Chris went out and competed in the zone. … We'd take that outing out of Chris Archer as many times as we can get it."
Archer was less pleased: "They're a good team, they have a great lineup and I did feel like I had good stuff today. But you know what, I have to pitch better. I can't allow that to happen."
GAME STUFF: The Rays (58-82) had runners on second in the first two innings but were shut out until the eighth when Bobby Wilson homered, his sixth. … SS Nick Franklin was hit by a pitch on the right foot and in pain, but Cash said he was okay. … RF Steven Souza Jr. made an impressive diving catch.
A DAY FOR KK: CF Kevin Kiermaier is on a 13-game hitting streak and was 4-for-8 against Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka but was out of the lineup, a mutual decision with Cash to get a day off after playing 18 straight games (with a team off day Sept. 1). "It was just a chance to get off my feet," Kiermaier said.
DAY OF REMEMBRANCE: The Yankees will have pregame activities today marking the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on New York. The remembrance will spur special memories for Triple-A manager Jared Sandberg, who is with the team now and was part of the Devil Rays team that played the first game back at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 25, 2001, and still has the Port Authority cap he wore then.
"It was a special moment to be part of to help everybody come together as a city and as a nation," he said. "To go out there on the field during the pregame ceremony with the firefighters and police officers and first responders and hear their stories was just shocking and sad and amazing. … When the chants turned to 'U-S-A, U-S-A,' I still get goose bumps thinking about it today."
MINOR MATTERS: Double-A Montgomery lost 8-2 to Jackson (Mariners) and was eliminated in four games in the Southern League playoff series. … Class A Bowling Green fell 5-2 to Great Lakes (Dodgers) in the third and decisive game of its Midwest League semifinal series. … Short-season Class A Hudson Valley opens the best-of-three NY-Penn League championship series with State College (Cardinals) today.
MISCELLANY: The Rays have lost the first three of a season-long 11-game trip and six of their past seven and are winless in seven road series. … 2B Logan Forsythe reached base multiple times for the seventh time in nine games.