NEW YORK -- For the second straight game, the Yankees didn’t manage more than a run until until at least the ninth inning, scattering hits but unable to push more than one across. And for the second straight game, it looked like they had something cooking against José Alvarado in what would be the final inning when Luke Voit led off with a hit. But unlike in Friday’s ninth-inning walk-off rally against Alvarado, the Yankees ended the 11th without a run scored and instead a 2-1 loss on Saturday to the Rays.
Asked about Voit’s single, which came on a 99.2-mph pitch, Boone indicated he was having deja vu.
“No question [it felt like, ‘Here we go again’],” Boone said. “Got that part of the order coming up, Luke has a really good at-bat, Aaron [Hicks] gets him to 3-1, so yeah, you’re definitely feeling like, ‘Yeah, we got a chance to do something there.’ And you expect it. But they got us today, and credit to them for making enough pitches.”
Voit’s single made him the only pitcher in the Majors this season with hits off two Alvarado 99-plus-mph pitches, but the single alone wasn’t enough.
A day after vaulting into first place with that walk-off win, the Yankees fell back out of the lead position in the American League East.
Brett Gardner scored a run on a Blake Snell wild pitch in the bottom of the third, but the Yankees didn’t get another run across despite multi-hit efforts from Gio Urshela and Aaron Hicks, who got his first hits of the season. New York had at least one baserunner per inning except the fifth, ninth and tenth -- including a baserunner in the decisive 11th -- but the only run scored wasn’t even on a base knock.
The Yankees almost got a second run in the sixth when Hicks reached on a one-out error from Snell and ended up on second base. After a Gary Sánchez strikeout, Hicks tried to score on a Gleyber Torres single, but he was thrown out at the plate by Austin Meadows, who fired off an 88.4-mph throw. Hicks ran through third-base coach Phil Nevin’s stop sign.
“I saw him early, waving me home,” Hicks said of Nevin. “And by the time he gave me the stop sign, I was already committed. So, you know, take a chance right there to try to score. And I didn’t, I got thrown out. … Snell’s a great pitcher, runs are hard to come by when you’re facing him, so I mean, it’s just one of those opportunities that I saw, that I feel like I could make it.”
Speaking of Sanchez, he hit third and at designated hitter for the Yankees, but he had his third career four-strikeout game and second of the season. His only non-strikeout plate appearance was grounding into a game-ending double play in the 11th.
“Well, I mean … Tampa [Bay] can do that to you,” said Boone. “You’re facing Snell … it’s a challenge. Obviously, a tough day for him. Looking forward to him getting back in tomorrow behind the plate and getting back after it. They make it about as tough as anyone on you, with what they’re able to bring in from the ‘pen, and obviously with Snell going today.”
By scoring just one run, the Yankees wasted a strong start from Masahiro Tanaka, who ended up leaving with a right shin contusion after being hit by a 111.3-mph Yandy Díaz batted ball. Tanaka went six innings, striking out six, allowing just three hits and not walking a batter. He left with a 1-0 lead, but that disappeared when Tommy Kahnle allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in the seventh -- Brandon Lowe. The game would remain tied until an 11th-inning home run from Meadows.
It was the Yankees’ sixth game this season scoring just one run, and the team fell to 0-6 in those games.