GAME 83: The suddenly hot Tampa Bay Rays completed their three game sweep over the stumbling New York Yankees with a 6-3 win. Like a broken record, the Bombers failed to come through with runners in scoring position (1-9), struck out 10 times, worked only 2 walks, and threw in 2 errors for good measure. Combine that with allowing the opponent 5 runs or more*, and the recipe for disaster was complete.
Starter Vidal Nuno went 5 and was charged with 3 earned runs, but the third came in on the decisive 2-run blast by Sean Rodriguez allowed by Shawn Kelley in the top of the sixth.
Sweep Extends Loss Streak to 5
The 3-run output by the struggling offense included a first inning, lead-off home run by Brett Gardner (his 8th), a Brian McCann solo homer in the third (his 10th) , and a Gardner RBI single in the fourth. The Yankees never threatened after that. The anemic run production was addressed by hitting coach Kevin Long:
“I can tell you that they’re doing everything in their power to try to correct it. I’m doing everything in my power to try to correct it, and we’re just going to stay at it. There’s no simple formula.”
GAMEDAY NOTES: *A frightening stat pointed out by Michael Kay on the YES broadcast — in games where the Yankees allow 5 or more runs, their record is 1-31. Worst in Major League Baseball …
Here’s the box score and a post-game wrap from Brian Heyman (LoHud).
MEMORY LANE: On July 2nd, 2002 the first place Yankees hammered the Charlie Manuel-managed Cleveland Indians 10-5. Roger Clemens started for New York, going 5 and allowing 3ER. It was 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, before the Bombers busted out for 7 runs highlighted by a Jorge Posada 3-run blast. Ramiro Mendoza got the win. Among the players in the lineup on this day in 2002 were Alfonso Soriano, Raul Mondesi, Robin Ventura and Jason Giambi.