Home News Yankees blow six-run lead, take crushing walk-off loss to Rays

Yankees blow six-run lead, take crushing walk-off loss to Rays

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There is losing a rubber game, and then there is what the Yankees experienced across three hours on Sunday.

Long after taking a 6-0 lead and blowing it, the Yankees came back to force extra innings before suffering a crushing loss.

The Rays walked it off for an 8-7 win in 10 innings before 32,142 in a playoff-like atmosphere at Tropicana Field.

After the Yankees’ bullpen had already used Jimmy Cordero, Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta and Michael King to get through the ninth inning, Albert Abreu came on for the bottom of the 10th.

He got one out before Isaac Paredes lined a single just over the glove of a leaping DJ LeMahieu at first base, allowing Brandon Lowe to score the winning run from second.

Despite the teams being separated by nine games entering the series — with the Rays atop the AL East and the Yankees in last place — they played three one-run games, with the finale a gut-wrenching loss for the Yankees.

Aaron Hicks started the top of the 10th on second base and tagged up to third on Anthony Volpe’s deep flyout.

He then took off for home on an apparent contact play when Gleyber Torres grounded to shortstop with the infield in.


Gerrit Cole allowed six runs, with five earned, in five-plus innings against the Rays on Sunday.
AP

Hicks had no shot of scoring and got stuck in a pickle, eventually getting tagged out but not before reliever Garrett Cleavinger hurt his knee and Torres made it all the way to third base.

Cleavinger was forced to leave the game, but lefty Jalen Beeks came on to strike out Anthony Rizzo to escape the inning.

After Gerrit Cole blew a 6-0 lead and the Rays went up 7-6 on Jimmy Cordero, the Yankees came right back to tie it in the seventh inning, setting up a tension-filled end of the game.


Christian Bethancourt hit a game-tying, three-run homer in the sixth inning.
Christian Bethancourt hit a game-tying, three-run homer in the sixth inning.
AP

Cole was cruising early and took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, when the Rays finally got to him for a pair of runs.

The first was a solo home run from Jose Siri, breaking Cole’s streak of 51 straight innings without a home run to start the season – after giving up an AL-high 33 last year.

The Rays then opened the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back doubles from Harold Ramirez and Paredes that cut the deficit to 6-3.

Cole then issued a full-count walk to Manuel Margot before his first pitch to Christian Bethancourt was crushed to center field for a shocking game-tying, three-run home run.


Christian Bethancourt (r.) is congratulated by his Rays teammates after hitting a three-run homer in the sixth inning Sunday.
Christian Bethancourt (r.) is congratulated by his Rays teammates after hitting a three-run homer in the sixth inning Sunday.
AP

The six runs Cole allowed (one of which was unearned) were one fewer than he had given up in his first seven starts combined, spanning 46 ⅔ innings.

Cordero relieved Cole with no outs in the sixth and immediately walked Siri on five pitches before the speedster took second on a wild pitch.

Siri then scored the go-ahead run from second on Yandy Diaz’s chopper between the mound and first base, taking off on the pitch and never breaking stride around third base, with Cordero appearing not to see him as he threw to first.

But the Yankees came back to tie the game in the next half-inning.

Bader led off with a single through the right side before Oswaldo Cabrera followed with a ground-rule double to right.


Harrison Bader (r.) hit a two-run homer in the third inning against the Rays.
Harrison Bader (r.) hit a two-run homer in the third inning against the Rays.
AP

That allowed Bader to come home on Jose Trevino’s groundout that tied it at seven.

For the first time this series, the Yankees had scored first on Sunday and then piled on.

Anthony Rizzo and Bader homered in the third inning to make it 3-0.

Hicks recorded his first extra-base hit of the season in the fourth, an RBI double, and came around to score on Torres’ RBI single.

Bader then led off the the fifth inning with a triple and scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly for the 6-0 lead.

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