Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays lose at home again, 6-2 to slumping New York Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG — James Shields missed on a few pitches Tuesday, specifically the two Alex Rodriguez deposited over the outfield fence. But it was the opportunities missed by his Rays teammates at the plate that were just as relevant a reason for their 6-2 loss to the Yankees.

"We had baserunners out there, we just couldn't get a knock," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Today was just an inability to get the big hit when we needed it."

The Yankees got what they needed most of all, which was a victory after six consecutive losses and a weekend of controversy.

"We needed to win this game," manager Joe Giradi said. "This was, I don't want to say a must win, but as close as you can get to a must win in the month of May."

Packing a 24-18 record and a two-game AL East lead, the Rays headed out afterward for a challenging and taxing trip to Toronto, Florida and Detroit — and they couldn't be happier to be going.

The loss, before a crowd of 27,123, dropped them to 11-13 at the previously friendly confines of Tropicana Field (compared to 13-5 on the road) and marked the 15th time in those 24 games they scored three runs or fewer under the tilted roof.

"It's kind of weird," Shields said. "Over the last few years we had that so-called homefield advantage, and now it's almost like we have road-field advantage. … We've definitely got to get better at home, no doubt about it."

The Rays, who ended up 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 on, had several chances. But the big moment came in the sixth.

Down 2-1 after Elliot Johnson hit a homer (pulling even in his heated competition with Sam Fuld at 2-2) and Rodriguez hit his two (on a 2-and-2 changeup in the fourth and a 1-and-0 fastball with two outs in the sixth), the Rays had a prime opportunity to take control of the game: bases loaded, one out, with B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman coming up against reliever Dave Robertson.

Both went down without even putting the ball in play, Upton swinging, Kotchman looking.

"We had an opportunity there to get on top and then stay on top," Maddon said. "That was pretty much the turning point."

Especially because of the way things turned in the Yanks' favor after that, a double by Jorge Posada (who batted seventh in the New York lineup), a bunt, a broken-bat single and an ill-advised and errant throw by Ben Zobrist leading to two more runs.

The Yanks added two in the ninth, and the Rays one, though they thought they may have had another on a Kelly Shoppach fly ball that may have hit the catwalk.

Maddon thought, by the way it changed direction before being caught, it hit the C-ring. Crew chief Gary Darling, after a four-plus minute video review, said "it didn't hit anything." Replays indicated it may have hit the B-ring, thus was in play and out anyway.

In any event …

"We lost the game of inches tonight," Maddon said.

Shields ended up with his first loss since the opening series of the season rather than his fifth straight win, but the margin wasn't much. He went seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits, walking one, striking out nine and throwing 102 pitches.

"I made two bad pitches," Shields said. "That's the way I feel, and that's about it. I think overall with that kind of lineup, I did pretty well."

But on this night, his teammates couldn't say the same.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Yankees 6

Rays 2

Tampa Bay Rays lose at home again, 6-2 to slumping New York Yankees 05/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 7:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Pirates?


    After an off day Monday, the Rays head on the road to PNC Park for a three-game interleague series against the Pirates. Here's the information you need to know about Pittsburgh before the action kicks off.

    Record: 35-41, fourth in NL Central

    Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, left, has rebounded from a rough start, while fellow outfielder Gregory Polanco, right, has fallen off recently.
  2. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue (w/video)


    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former Countryside and LSU softball standout A.J. Andrews will be among 23 athletes to be featured in ESPN The Magazine's body issue. "I have a really ripped back," Andrews says while laughing in the video. [Photo from video]

  3. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  4. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  5. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.