Colon had Tampa hitters baffled early, though the Rays finally got to him in the fifth. Sam Fuld tripled to center with one out. Reid Brignac lined a single to right and the Rays were on the board, trailing the Yankees 2-1. Russell Martin caught Brignac stealing and Colon struck out Damon to end the inning and the threat.
The Yankees had an opportunity to add to their lead in the seventh. With two outs, Brett Gardner singled to center and stole second. Eduardo Nunez worked a walk and with two speedy players on base, the Yankees pulled off a double steal before Derek Jeter grounded the ball back to first to end the inning.
Colon struck out B.J. Upton to start the bottom of the inning, but gave up back-to-back singles to Robinson Chirinos and Sean Rodriguez. Joe Girardi then called on Boone Logan, while the Rays replaced Fuld with Justin Ruggiano, who hit a high fly ball to center. It looked like Curtis Granderson was going to make the easy play, but he appeared to lose the ball in the ceiling of Tropicana Field as it dropped a few feet in front of him, loading the bases. Eliot Johnson hit what looked like a routine comebacker to the mound, but it bounced off Logan’s glove and the tying run scored. Johnny Damon hit a fly ball to center, on which Granderson made an impressive sliding catch, though he was unable to make a throw to keep Rodriguez from scoring the go-ahead run. Logan struck out Matt Joyce to end the inning, but the Yankees’ ugly play had got the best of them as they fell 3-2.
Derek Jeter: Jeter went 0-4 with a strikeout and leaving two runners on base.
Boone Logan: While it doesn’t show up in the box score, Logan was anything but effective tonight. He was not helped with the defense the Yankees played in the seventh, but he allowed both his inherited runners to score and committed an error of his own.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy went 0-3 with a strikeout. He also was charged with a throwing error, though his sliding catch was impressive.
Brett Gardner: Gardner went 2-3 and picked up two more stolen bases.
Bartolo Colon: Colon looked a lot better, going 6.1 innings and giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. He struck out nine hitters, picking up at least one K in each inning he pitched.
In the On Deck Circle: New York will try to get back on track on Wednesday, when Freddy Garcia takes the ball. The Yankees’ starter had put together an impressive string of outings before giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits over just five innings last week. Tampa Bay will send David Price to the mound, and this time he will not need to worry about any Yankee legends pursuing major milestones, as he did when he gave up Derek Jeter’s 3000th (and 3001st, 3002nd…) hit in his last start against New York. Price has been deadly against left-handed hitters this season, who are hitting just .158 against the southpaw. First pitch is at 7:10pm in Tampa.