The Yankees had a forgettable night in St. Petersburg on Monday.
CC Sabathia allowed home runs to Yunel Escobar and Ryan Roberts in the first inning and Roberts took Sabathia deep again in the third en route to a 5-1 Rays win.
Sabathia’s start wasn’t all that terrible beyond those home runs, as he lasted seven innings and struck out eight. The Yankees’ offense, on the other hand, stood no chance against Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore.
Moore allowed one run over eight innings…and he actually saw his ERA rise from 1.00 to 1.04. Moore allowed two hits, one run and walked three and struck one nine in a dominating performance. A solo shot by Robinson Cano was the only offense the Yankees could muster.
A mere 15,331 fans came out for the game between the pair of aces. I know it’s a Monday night and a school night and everything, but that doesn’t bode well for the Rays if they can only draw that many for a Yankees game.
Kevin Youkilis missed last night’s game with back tightness. The Yankees sure could have used another right-handed bat in the lineup against Moore. Instead, Lyle Overbay was forced into action at first base and Ben Francisco was the DH, batting second. Youkilis left midway through Saturday’s game. No word yet on tonight’s lineup, although it should be released soon.
It won’t get any easier for the Yanks tonight as it’s Phil Hughes against the Rays’ other tough lefty, David Price. As good as Price has been over his career – he won the AL Cy Young in 2012 – the Yankees are the AL East team that has given him the most trouble. He has a 7-3 record and a 3.77 ERA in 17 career starts against New York. Check out his career splits through the link above.
The Mets were off on Monday and begin a series at home against the Dodgers tonight. It will be Clayton Kershaw against Jon Niese in a pairing of lefty aces.
Kershaw has been pretty darn good this year, as he’s 2-2 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts. He’s struck out 30 and allowed 19 hits in 28 2/3 innings. He’s also batting .222 with one home run and one RBI.
Niese is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four starts. He’s allowed 26 hits and struck out 13 in 23 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-4 win Sunday in Baltimore. At 8-10, they’re already five games behind in the NL West.
The Mets are 2-4 in their last six and are 3 1/2 games back in the NL East.
Elsewhere in baseball…
- Joe Nathan earned his sixth save of the year as the Rangers rallied on an A.J. Pierzynski home run in the top of the ninth to beat the Angels, 7-6. The Angels are 7-11, Josh Hamilton is hitting .222 and Albert Pujols is battling plantar fascitis. Oh, and Jered Weaver is on the DL.
- Nick Markakis hit a walk-off single to left as the Orioles topped the Blue Jays, 2-1.
- Mike Napoli hit a grand slam and Will Middlebrooks launched a 3-run shot over the Green Monster as the Red Sox beat Oakland, 9-6.
- Justin Masterson improved to 4-1 as the Indians beat the White Sox, 3-2. Masterson, with a 1.85 ERA, has been one of the AL’s top starters so far, but he isn’t a prototypical power pitcher. He gets 53.9 percent of his outs on ground balls and only 3.6 percent of his fly balls have turned into home runs. He’s pitching well above his baseball card numbers at this point, so he’s probably due to regress in the near future, but it will be interesting to see if his heavy stuff holds up over the course of the season. The Indians could certainly use it, as Brett Meyers and Ubaldo Jimenez have been a disaster so far.
- King Felix only had to go six innings as the Mariners beat the Astros, 7-1.
- The Reds needed 13 innings to beat the Cubs, 5-4. Luis Valbuena had put the Cubs ahead with a two-run homer in the top of the 13th, but Jay Bruce and Cesar Izturis came through with RBI hits in the bottom of the inning for the win.
- A.J. Burnett struck out seven over five innings, but the Phillies outlasted the Pirates, 3-2.
- Kyle Lohse won his first game as Brewer as Milwaukee beat the Padres.
- Brandon Belt’s one-out single in the ninth lifted the Giants to a 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks.
- Dan Haren pitched well – six hits and three runs allowed over five innings – but the Cardinals and rookie Shelby Miller beat the Nationals, 3-2. Miller went 6 2/3, striking out eight, to improve to 3-1. The Cards’ bullpen, which has been shaky without closer – and Valley Central grad – Jason Motte, held on for the win.
- There are a pair of doubleheaders on tap following snow in Denver and Minneapolis yesterday. The Marlins play the Twins and the Braves are at the Rockies in a meeting of the two best records in MLB.
- R.A. Dickey, who left his last start with back tightness, goes for the Blue Jays in Baltimore tonight.
- Wade Davis, a former Hudson Valley Renegades pitcher who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA so far, goes for the Royals in Detroit against Max Scherzer.
- Alexi Ogando and Jason Vargus square off in an intriguing AL West matchup in Anaheim.
- The Nats send Ross Detwiler to the hill against Adam Wainright as Washington looks to snap out of a 3-7 skid over its last 10 games.
- Matt Cain, surprisingly 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA through four stats, will host Patrick Corbin and the Diamondbacks in San Francisco at 10 p.m.