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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7/23-7/25)

Following their rain-shortened two-game series split against the Mets at home this past weekend, the Yankees head down South for three days to face the Rays in Tampa Bay.  Tropicana Field has, in a way, been a house of horrors for New York, having gone just 4-9 at The Trop since the beginning of 2017 including an ugly three-game sweep just a month ago. The Yankees will begin play today at 63-34, five full games behind the first place Red Sox.  Tampa Bay comes in at 50-49, 19 games out of first and 9.5 games back of Seattle for the second Wild Card position. With trade rumors swirling for both squads and the teams headed in opposite directions, this series provides a key opportunity for the Yankees to get back on track and put pressure on Boston to once again close up the AL East race.

Pedroia leads the way as Red Sox beat Yankees 5-3

Luis Severino made his MLB debut against the Boston Red Sox on August 5th, 2015. A year and four days later, he made his redemption debut against the Red Sox.

Tonight’s 5-2 loss was Severino’s first start since coming back to the big-league rotation, after a few spotless bullpen appearances. The Yankees were hoping that his success in the bullpen, where he retired 25 of 29 batters faced, would translate to the rotation. The righty tossed 4.1 innings, allowing five earned runs and seven hits while punching out three.

AP Photo - Winslow Townson

He didn’t have much help from a Yankees offense that scored just two runs. In the 1st, Chase Headley doubled off the wall to bring around Starlin Castro. Then in the second, Brian McCann singled to right, scoring Brett Gardner. Boston starter Rick Porcello pitched a fantastic game and limited the Yankees, giving up only seven hits and two runs in eight innings pitched.

In the 9th, Sox closer Craig Kimbrel was erratic, walking four runners before being taken out and replaced with Matt Barnes. Jacoby Ellsbury had an RBI walk, making the score 5-3. The Yankees were unable to make the most of having the bases loaded twice, scoring just one run, as Mark Teixeira struck out for the final out.

AP Photo - Winslow Townson

After a scoreless first two innings, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts collected singles off Severino, and Dustin Pedroia slugged a double to tie the game at two. Benintendi then socked a double, nearly a home run, which brought Sandy Leon. Pedroia hurt the Yanks again, doubling to right field bringing in Benintendi. David Ortiz kept it going in the 5th after a single that scored Pedroia.

Newly acquired reliever Tommy Layne made his Yankees debut tonight, pitching 1.1 innings of scoreless ball. Anthony Swarzak did well in his two innings of relief, allowing no runs.

Alex Rodriguez didn’t make an appearance tonight, with his final game looming. Brett Gardner had a good night at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a run scored.

Dustin Pedroia went 2 for 4 with a run scored and three RBI’s.

Article by: Phil Akre
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