On the same day in which the Yankees took a step toward filling their need for a right-handed power bat by trading for Alfonso Soriano, a newer problem continued to manifest itself.
CC Sabathia’s struggles continued in Friday’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, as the Yankees were overwhelmed in a 10-6 loss. It marked the first time in Sabathia’s career that he has allowed seven or more runs in three consecutive starts.
The big lefty has been the Yankees’ ace since arriving in 2009, but he has not pitched like one this season. He allowed seven runs in five innings on nine hits and three walks, with six runs coming in the second inning as the Rays piled up hit after hit. Sabathia dropped to 9-9 on the season and saw his ERA climb to 4.65.
The Yankees best opportunity to get back in the game came in the bottom of the third. Austin Romine drove in a run with an RBI single, followed by a single from Brett Gardner and a walk to Robinson Cano to load the bases. Soriano came up with two outs and a chance to do some damage, but flew out to right field.
David Adams had an RBI single and Chris Stewart hit an RBI double in the eighth to give the Yankees some life heading into the final frame. Melky Mesa’s RBI single cut the deficit to 10-4 in the ninth, which was followed by an RBI single from Adams and a run-scoring fielder’s choice from Soriano. But after Rays closer Fernando Rodney was brought in, Stewart grounded to third for the final out.
Associated Press photo