The Yankees and Rays squared off last night and it was another chance for CC Sabathia to gain or possibly lose ground in the 5th starter competition. Things didn't get off to a great start for him, but he was able to battle through 5 innings and give his team a chance. The offense couldn't generate much against the Tampa pitching contingent, however, and the Yankee bullpen gave the game away late as the Bombers dropped to 9-11 this spring. It was tough going for CC in the early innings last night. His fastball was only sitting in the upper 80s, his offspeed stuff wasn't fooling the Tampa hitters, and the Rays got to him for a run each in the top of the 1st and 2nd. The first came on an Evan Longoria solo bomb and the second came on a Desmond Jennings leadoff double and Kevin Kiermaier ribbie single. Lotta hard contact in the early going for the Rays, but give CC credit. He got it together and pitched the next 3 innings scoreless, getting the ball down in the zone and picking up 7 of his final 9 outs either via strikeout or groundout.
The Yankees answered Tampa's second run with a carbon copy of that rally. Brian McCann started the inning with a double and came around to score on Carlos Beltran's single. They didn't score again until the bottom of the 7th, when Pete Kozma hit a 1-out triple and came home on a wild pitch, but by then it was too little too late. The Rays racked up 4 runs against a wild Tyler Olson in the top of the 6th to put themselves comfortably ahead.
- Final line on CC: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. In general I think the Yankees would take that from their 5th starter every time out.
- McCann went 2-3 and was the only Yankee with multiple hits. He's quietly having a nice spring.
- Kirby Yates strengthened his case for a bullpen spot by recording 4 scoreless outs after Olson's implosion. He struck out 2.
- Chasen Shreve also K'd 2 in a scoreless frame to continue his stellar spring.
- DH A-Rod went 1-2 with a BB and a K.