May 19, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Tim Beckham (1) forces out New York Yankees first baseman Chris Carter (48) and throws the ball to first base for a double play during the seventh inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees were unable to hold a 2-1 lead as their bullpen struggled in an eventual 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. 

  • New York Yankees: 4 (24-15)
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 5 (22-22)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

The Tampa Bay Rays made sure the New York Yankees didn’t start a new winning streak on their home turf, as they took down the American East-leading Bombers down by a score of 5-4 in St. Pete.

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New York got on the board first after Matt Holliday doubled following a one-out single by Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the first. Starlin Castro then grounded softly to shortstop Tim Beckham but it got the job done and scored Ellsbury from third to give New York a 1-0 lead.

That lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Yankees’ starter Luis Severino surrendered a two-out RBI double to Logan Morrison with two runners on. It was Morrison’s 28th RBI of the season and it knotted the game up at one apiece. 

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The Yankees would strike next in the third on a Jacoby Ellsbury double off Erasmo Ramírez to throw his squad ahead by a score of 2-1. Severino, despite tossing 30 pitches in the first inning, would settle down and toss 59 over the next four to finish his day with five total innings and just one run charged to his ERA.

New York took their 2-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh and Adam Warren got into a little trouble. He surrendered singles to Corey Dickerson, Kevin Kiermaier and Longoria to load the bases with no outs. Then, Morrison skied a deep fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly to tie the game up at two.

Rickie Weeks Jr. then tapped a two-run double under the glove of Ronald Torreyes at third off Chasen Shreve to score both Kiermaier and Longoria. Matt Holliday came through with a game-tying two-run shot in the eighth, but Tyler Clippard couldn’t keep the score even.

After striking out Daniel Robertson, Clippard, who’s in the setup role with Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list, walked Derek Norris then Kevin Kiermaier. With two outs, Evan Longoria laced a single to left field to score Norris from second to give the Rays a 5-4 lead entering the ninth.

Closer Alex Colomé came on to retire Didi Gregorius, Chris Carter and Austin Romine in order to close out a hard-fought ballgame in front of a Tropicana Field crowd of 21,146. 

Ellsbury’s Town: 

With two hits on Friday, Ellsbury extended his lead for the most hits by a Yankee at Tropicana Field since 2014 with 33. Second on the list is Chase Headley (28) followed by Brett Gardner (23).

Washout: 

Recovering utility man Tyler Austin was scheduled to commence a rehab assignment with the Tampa Yankees on Friday. The 25-year-old has been sidelined since mid-February with a fracture in his foot, which transpired before to the start of spring training.

Unfortunately, rain swept through the area and canceled his first step toward returning. Austin was penciled in as the three-hitter and DH, but will have to wait until game one of a doubleheader starting at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon before seeing live action.

What’s Next: 

The Yankees and Rays will square off in the middle game of this three-game set at Tropicana Field on Saturday afternoon.

Masahiro Tanaka will get the starting not for the Yankees, coming off an outing against the Houston Astros on Sunday in which he surrendered eight runs (including four home runs) on seven hits while lasting just 1.2 innings of work. The righty owns a 5.80 ERA through eight starts, the ninth-worst ERA among the 93 qualified starting pitchers in the Major Leagues.

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First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET, will be telecasted on the YES Network and broadcasted on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.

 NEXT: Despite Recent Surge, Brett Gardner Still Isn’t Safe 

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