Yankees lifeless again after dud deadline, lose 5-2 to Rays

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Yankees Rays
Anthony Rizzo (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Zach Eflin pitched six shutout innings of three-hit ball to become the American League’s first 12-game winner, Randy Arozarena hit a two-run homer off Carlos Rodón and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Yandy Díaz also connected for the Rays, who won their third straight game and have gone deep six times in the last two nights at Yankee Stadium.

Manuel Margot hit an RBI double and Brandon Lowe added a run-scoring single for the Rays, who matched a season high with seven walks.

“We felt like if we can just get the offense rolling a little bit, good things would come,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

Eflin (12-6) set a career-high for wins, surpassing his previous best in 2018 for Philadelphia. He allowed singles to Aaron Judge and Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a double to Jake Bauers.

“It felt like he was in rhythm, a strike-throwing machine,” Cash said.

After leaving his previous start due to knee discomfort, Eflin struck out five and walked none. He got nine outs on the ground in his fourth scoreless start this season.

“I think four or five days ago, I was really in a rough spot, not really getting around well and really didn’t know how much time I was going to miss,” Eflin said. “To bounce back after a couple of days and just be able to throw today was a blessing, honestly.”

Eflin improved to 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees. Three of those outings were scoreless.

“He went through us pretty easily,” New York manager Aaron Boone said.

Rodón (1-4) struggled in his fifth start for New York after missing three-plus months with forearm and back injuries. The left-hander gave up four runs and four hits in four innings.

“It’s just a good lineup and I wish I was a lot better than I was, that’s for sure,” Rodón said.

The last-place Yankees (55-52) fell to 1-4 since Judge came off the injured list Friday. New York also dropped to 7-14 since July 4 and was nearly blanked before Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu hit RBI singles in the ninth.

“It’s on us as players,” Judge said. “We’re fully capable with the guys we’ve got in this room to go out and compete on a daily basis. The results haven’t come, obviously, all year and we’ve still got two months left in the season and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Pete Fairbanks finished off his 14th save by striking out pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton on a 98 mph fastball with two on.

“Just taking a shot with a big swing,” Boone said.

Judge was 1 for 4 and hit a fly ball in front of the warning track on a 3-0 pitch for the final out of the sixth. He also hit a fly ball in front of the warning track for the second out of the ninth.

Margot put Tampa Bay ahead when his double bounced into the left-field stands with two outs in the second. Díaz set a career-high by hitting his 15th homer to open the third. Three batters later, Arozarena broke an 0-for-21 skid with a 415-foot drive into the left-field bleachers.

“It felt very good, especially after that streak of not being able to get a hit,” Arozarena said through a translator. “To be able to connect with the home run there made me very happy.”

Shawn Armstrong pitched two perfect innings in relief for Tampa Bay before Colin Poche allowed four hits in the ninth.

For more on the Yankees, visit AMNY.com