NEW YORK -- Jalen Beeks cruised through the Yankees' lineup until a fundamental mistake cost him in the Rays' 4-1 loss on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Tampa Bay has now lost two in a row to move to 60-59 on the season.
Beeks, who was acquired from the Red Sox for Nathan Eovaldi shortly before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, took over in the second with the Rays trailing, 1-0, and proceeded to pitch masterfully. In the third and fourth, the rookie left-hander struck out the side, leaving him one shy of tying the Rays' club record for consecutive strikeouts.
But instead of notching his seventh consecutive strikeout, Beeks met his undoing, walking Neil Walker to start the fifth. Austin Romine followed with his eighth home run of the season on the first pitch Beeks threw him to put the Yankees up, 3-0.
The pitch "was definitely up," Beeks said. "I don't know if it was middle-up. But you want that pitch low and away."
"The home run is one thing, but ... it's the leadoff walk that kind of bothers you a little bit," manager Kevin Cash said. "The leadoff walk, and then the home run ... You just can't walk those guys."
Beeks pitched through the sixth, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out eight in five innings.
"I think there's a lot of positives and a lot of negatives [from this outing]," Beeks said. "I still was behind on a lot of guys, which is frustrating. I had two walks, which was frustrating. But I had some strikeouts, which was good. And my stuff was good when it was around the zone. I just have to keep working."
Willy Adames got the Rays on the board with a solo home run off Dellin Betances in the eighth, giving the rookie shortstop his sixth homer of the season while cutting the lead to 3-1.
Adames' homer was one of just three Tampa Bay hits on Tuesday night, which could be credited in large part to Yankees starter J.A. Happ, who allowed no runs and just one hit in seven innings.
"[Happ] did a really good job of mixing pitches, changing eye levels," said Mallex Smith, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk on the night. "Just tip your cap, really."
• Hunter Wood opened the game for the Rays and took his first career loss after allowing one earned run in one inning.
• The Rays have dropped each of their last 12 series openers in the Bronx since the beginning of 2015. They are 1-6 at Yankee Stadium this season and 3-14 since the beginning of 2017.
HE SAID IT
"We just couldn't quite make the adjustment. J.A.'s a good pitcher. He's not one of those guys who fools you or pitches backwards. We just couldn't make the adjustment to the fastball. He's lived off deception and some pretty good late life to his fastball his entire career. And he really had it going tonight." -- Cash, on Happ
Right-hander Jake Faria will start on Wednesday when the Rays play the Yankees in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest at Yankee Stadium. Faria will be making his 11th start of the year after missing a chunk of the season with an oblique problem. He is 1-2 with a 7.24 ERA in six road appearances in 2018. Right-hander Luis Cessa will start for the Yankees.