A burst of eighth inning offense proved to be too little too late for the Yankees as the team took another loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, this one by a 5-3 score which put the Bombers 4.5 games out of first place in the AL East.
Designated hitter Luke Voit made things interesting with a two run homer off Edgar García that cut Tampa’s lead to 5-3 in that inning, however it was only one of few instances of Bombers offense Monday night.
That lack of batting oomph was paired with one of Gerrit Cole’s less memorable starts as he allowed four runs off homers to both former Yankees infielder Ji-Man Choi and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier along with an RBI single to fellow outfielder Manuel Margot in his even five pitched.
Totally, Cole allowed 13 on off eight hits with seven strikeouts before turning things over to Nick Nelson, who surrendered the Rays fifth run on an RBI single from Choi.
The Yankees also debuted righty reliever Miguel Yajure in the seventh inning, who got his first and second major league strikeouts on three solid, scoreless innings pitched.
Though, all eyes were set on the Rays mound Monday night as starter Tyler Glasnow put the Yankees through five no-hit innings, losing his bid to a replay confirmed, infield single by second baseman DJ LeMahieu in the sixth inning while Tampa led 5-0.
Healthy third baseman Gio Urshela finally was able to put a dent in the Rays pitching when he solo homered off Garcia ahead of Voit’s two run shot the following inning.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Rays closer Diego Castillo put down three of four batters faced to seal the 5-3 Tampa win.
The Rays improve to 25-11 while the Yankees drop to 19-14, the two teams rematch Tuesday night in the Bronx for the second of a three game series.