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 miscues costly in 1-0 loss to New York Yankees

NEW YORK — There have been times, and certainly most of the weekend, when the Rays look as though they are good enough to play with the division heavyweight Yankees and Red Sox and stay in the race the rest of the season.

But not as they headed out of Yankee Stadium and into the All-Star break Sunday, done in by a series of mistakes that led to a 1-0 loss and left them 49-41 and looking up at both teams from a season-high six games out.

The one that actually cost them the game was an errant pickoff throw to third by All-Star pitcher James Shields in the seventh, allowing Robinson Cano, who would have easily been out, to score the lone run in a complete-game duel with Yankees ace CC Sabathia.

But there were other mistakes that were just as damaging, illustrating the improvement needed if they are to remain contenders.

"If that's going to be the difference in the ball game, we've got to do a better job all around," Shields said. "All around. That whole game I hung in there as best I could right there, and unfortunately we got the loss. A tough loss."

Centerfielder B.J. Upton, whose overall play has improved, led the list. He ran into two outs on the bases; picked off first by Sabathia, then doubled off first when he broke for second on a full-count pitch and made no attempt to get back on a liner to right. Worse, he made a throwing error in advance of Shields' errant toss.

"I wouldn't change anything I did but the bad throw," Upton said.

The Rays continued to struggle offensively, getting five men on base and failing to advance any, including two who had doubled. They tried to make up for it by being aggressive on the bases. But Sean Rodriguez got caught stealing third for the first out of the second. "There were some dumb mistakes," Rodriguez said. "And I made one of them."

The game came down to the sloppy seventh-inning sequence.

Second baseman Cano led off with a single for just the fourth hit off Shields. Designated hitter Jorge Posada followed with a blooper to center that Upton, who earlier made a strong throw to the plate, raced in for to make the grab.

Cano had no chance of getting back but Upton, throwing on the run, fired the ball well over first baseman Casey Kotchman's head and into the Yankees dugout.

"I just overthrew it," Upton said. "If I make a good throw, he's out. I didn't rush it. I just didn't make a good throw."

That advanced Cano to third, and that's where Shields made his mistake.

The pickoff at third is one of the plays the Rays have emphasized this season in their efforts to harness opponents, and with some success, twice when Shields, who leads the majors with 10 pickoffs, was on the mound.

Actually, it worked again, except that Shields threw the ball too high, and a bit behind Rodriguez, playing third in place of Evan Longoria, as he broke to the bag.

"I had him picked him off," Shields said. "I mean, he was walking down toward home plate. All I had to do was lob the ball over there, and I end up air-mailing it. Ninety-nine out of 100 (times), I'm going to make that play. And I'm not going to think twice about it."

Manager Joe Maddon said he had no problem with the play, which was called by Shields with a sign to Rodriguez, because he encourages the Rays to take such chances.

"I'm good with that," he said. "It was there for us."

As is the rest of the season.

Tampa Bay Rays miscues costly in 1-0 loss to New York Yankees 07/10/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 11, 2011 7:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.