Rays top Yankees to snap 7-game skid
NEW YORK -- James Loney, Logan Forsythe and Curt Casali drove in two runs each as the Rays found an offensive spark and capitalized on some Yankees errors in an 8-1 win on Sunday at Yankee Stadium to snap a seven-game losing skid.
Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova and second baseman Jose Pirela both committed costly errors. Nova's error came in the fifth inning, when Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Casali, who had doubled. Nova fielded the ball and threw it past third baseman Chase Headley, allowing Casali to score and Cabrera to advance to second. Pirela's double error came in the eighth, when he bobbled a grounder and threw wide to first. The Rays scored four runs in the frame.
Nova struggled on the hill, allowing six hits and four runs -- three earned -- over five innings. He walked three and struck out one. Erasmo Ramirez got the win for the Rays, his seventh of the season. The righty gave up three hits and one run in six innings of work. He also struck out three. Alex Rodriguez homered in the sixth for the Yanks' lone run.
"Bats kind of came to life, it was good to see," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We got some early runs that really helped and took some pressure of a losing streak like this."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Two at the right time: With the Rays hanging on to a 4-1 lead, things began to get hot in the bottom of the seventh when the Yankees got runners on first and second with one out. Headley then hit a 2-2 pitch back to the mound. Xavier Cedeno fielded the ball and threw to second baseman Forsythe, who caught the throw and successfully made the relay to first to complete the much-needed double play.
"That was huge," Cash said. "We don't get that then we're lined up for [Brandon Gomes] is going to come in and face one hitter. And then we've probably got Jake [McGee] in the game. So it was big."
Sunday struggle: Nova has had a plethora of experience with the Rays, holding down a 6-5 record in 14 games (13 starts) heading into Sunday. It was the most wins, losses, games, starts and innings pitched he's registered against any single opponent, but the experience didn't help in the series finale. It was Nova's third start of the season and his second loss in a row. It was also the first time in his three starts that he allowed a hit with runners in scoring position.
"I thought he did a pretty good job for not having anything," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nova. "He didn't have command of his sinker. He probably threw three or four curveballs out of 20 for strikes -- he didn't have command of that. He threw a couple changeups."
"It was not there the last two times and there's not much to say," Nova added. "I think I got lucky that I only gave up four runs."
Ramirez's quality start: Ramirez extended the current roll he's been riding. The right-hander's third quality start moved him to 7-3 while lowering his ERA to 3.80 for the season.
Eighth-inning woes: In the eighth inning, Loney hit a grounder to second baseman Pirela, who bobbled the ball and then missed first baseman Mark Teixeira on the throw. Pirela was charged with two errors, which allowed Loney to reach second and advanced Evan Longoria to third. Both scored in the next at-bat when Forsythe sent a single to right field.
"It cost us probably five or six runs today, and it's a much different game. It's unfortunate," Girardi said of his team's defense. "We've got another week to go hard before we get a little bit of a break, and I think tomorrow's probably a good day off for our guys."
"It was fun, it was fun. … Any time you lose that many games in a row, it's hard, even though we try and stay as positive as possible. But it definitely feels good to get back in the win column. And try to keep stringing some wins together so we can get back on track." -- Casali, on the Rays snapping their seven-game losing streak
"A starting pitcher is probably going to have his 'A' stuff about one third of the time when he goes out there. He's going to have some 'B' stuff about one third of the time. And it's that other third that you've really got to fight." -- Girardi
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Since June 17, the Rays have posted a 7-11 record despite outhitting the opposition 12 times.
Rays: Alex Colome (3-4, 4.70 ERA) could be facing his final start on Monday in the series opener vs. the Royals if he becomes the odd man out when Jake Odorizzi returns to the rotation. Colome's last win, as well as the Rays' last win in a game started by Colome, was May 21 vs. the A's. The Rays are 3-10 in games started by Colome this season. The game is scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. ET.
Yankees: The Yankees are off on Monday and will send Nathan Eovaldi (8-2, 4.52 ERA) to the mound Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET for the first matchup of a three-game series with the A's. Eovaldi has allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts.
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