For the second night in a row, the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen could not hold a lead as the bullpen again allowed five runs in the top of the tenth inning as the Yankees beat the Rays 8-4 to open up a weekend series at Tropicana Field.
The cast of characters were different tonight but the results were the same. Oliver Drake gave up two runs and Emilio Pagan gave up three runs in the tenth. The big blow a three run homer by Gary Sanchez to put the Rays up 8-3, a lead they would not relinquish and went on to an 8-4 win.
You could not have asked any more from starter Yonny Chirinos as he pitched seven strong inning allowing five runs and striking out three. Jacob Faria and Andrew Kittredge also pitched well in relief, striking out five over two innings.
Oliver Drake came on to start the tenth and walked the first two batters, and those walks came back to haunt the Rays as they both came across to score.
To be fair, this was the first bad outing for both Drake and Pagan, as they have been solid all season.
The front office has their work cut out for them before the trade deadline to make some moves and really get some help for the back end of the bullpen.
There is no confidence right now in Jose Alvarado, Diego Castillo, and Chaz Roe. If the Rays have any aspirations of getting to the playoffs and making a deep playoff run, this bullpen needs a makeover and that can’t come soon enough.
-The injury bug continues to attack the Rays. All Star second baseman Brandon Lowe was placed on the 10 day DL after he fouled a pitch off his leg in Wednesday nights game against Baltimore.
Lowe was leading the Rays in home runs with 16 and was the team leader in runs batted in with 49. Lowe said that he still plans to go to Cleveland to take part in the all-star festivities even though he will not be suiting up.
Outside of the New York Yankees, who had at one point this season had 12 players on the DL, the Rays have been hit extremly hard this season.
Nate Lowe was called up from Durham to take Brandon Lowe’s spot on the roster.
The Rays are still waiting on third basemen Matt Duffy to play in his first game this season. Duffy continues to rehab a hamstring injury.
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow also on the DL should be ready to pitch sometime after the All Star break.