Tonight’s pitching match-up lived up to expectations as James Shields and CC Sabathia once again squared off. Both pitchers gave their teams 7+ innings of strong starting pitching. However, Shields was a little bit better tonight as his Rays topped the Yanks, 2-1. With tonight’s defeat, Sabathia lost his first game in eight starts. With the loss, the Yanks fall to 57-39 and finish their eight game roadie at 4-4. The Rays proved tonight that they’ll be sticking around, as they trail the Yanks by only 5.5 games in the AL Wildcard race.

AP

Runs were definitely hard to come by when two of the AL’s top arms take the hill. The Rays drew first blood when Evan Longoria connected for a solo home run in the first inning. Sam Fuld added an RBI triple in the fifth inning, providing enough offense for the win. Sabathia was his normal, efficient self, giving way to only five hits in only eight innings. He did issue four free ‘un-CC-like’ passes, but struck out eight. While Sabathia’s record takes a hit (14-5), his ERA continues to drop (2.62). 

Hats off to James Shields, who kept the Yanks off balance all night. He didn’t give up a run until the eighth (a Robby Cano RBI double with two outs), but his bullpen, anchored by anemic Kyle Farnsworth preserved the 2-1 lead.

The Yanks only mustered two extra base hits tonight (Cano and Derek Jeter in the eighth). I’m sure they can’t wait to get back home.

Overall, I’ll take .500 road trips any day of the week. The Yanks always seem to struggle in Toronto and Tampa Bay and coming out of those series with their heads above water is a win in my book. Time to kick this 10-game home stand off tomorrow against Oakland!

Friday, 7:05 PM: Trevor Cahill (8-8, 3.16 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (1-2, 8.44 ERA)