N.Y. threats come to noth­ing as Tampa Bay avoids sweep

Baltimore Sun - - BASEBALL - By Mark Didtler

ST. PE­TERS­BURG, FLA. — Af­ter an­other de­flat­ing loss, Brett Gard­ner knows the math is tough for the New York Yan­kees to reach the play­off.

“We need to win 11 games,” the left fielder said af­ter Thurs­day night’s 2-0 de­feat to the Tampa Bay Rays.

When told 10 re­mained, he re­sponded: “We need to win11 out of 10.”

Blake Snell and the Rays’ bullpen com­bined to strand 11 New York run­ners, pre­vent­ing a much-needed three-game sweep by the Yan­kees.

New York went 0-for-8 with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, in­clud­ing 0- for-7 against Snell. The Yan­kees are three games be­hind the Detroit Tigers for the sec­ond AL wild-card spot and also trail the Ori­oles, Hous­ton Astros and Seat­tle Mariners.

Snell (6-8) gave up five hits and three walks. New York had scor­ing threats in four of five in­nings against him, leav­ing the bases loaded in the third when Chase Headley flied out. Headley re­turned to New York’s lineup af­ter miss­ing three games be­cause of back tight­ness.

“We had a cou­ple in­nings set up but weren’t able to get a hit,” Yan­kees man­ager Joe Gi­rardi said. “I felt like we were go­ing to break through if we can keep it close, but tonight we weren’t able to.”

Chase Whit­ley, in his third game since re­turn­ing from Tommy John el­bow re­con­struc­tion, al­lowed two hits in 22⁄ in­nings, and Alex Colome fin­ished for his 35th save in 37 chances.

“The feel that he has for his off-speed right now says a lot about him be­cause you just don’t see that from guys com­ing back from an ex­ten­sive re­hab,” Rays man­ager Kevin Cash said of Whit­ley.

Brad Miller had an RBI sin­gle in the first af­ter Lo­gan Forsythe led off with a catch­able popup to right field that Aaron Hicks al­lowed to drop in front of him for a hit. Gi­rardi said Hicks lost sight of the ball off the bat.

Corey Dick­er­son hit a solo homer in the sixth off Luis Cessa (4-3), who gave two runs and six hits in six in­nings.

Yan­kees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez threw out Kevin Kier­maier at sec­ond base in the third in­ning to end the speed­ster’s run of 18 con­sec­u­tive suc­cess­ful stolen bases at­tempts. Sanchez picked Curt Casali off sec­ond one in­ning later.

Sanchez went 0-for-2 but walked twice.

“He can help you in so many ways,” Gi­rardi said.

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