ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Derek Jeter’s final season now has no chance of ending with an AL East title.
The New York Yankees were eliminated from division-crown contention when Ben Zobrist hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday night to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 1-0 win.
The Yankees lost for the fourth time in a five-game stretch in which they have scored only six runs, dropping six games back in the AL wild-card race with 13 games left.
“It’s the same story. We’ve been pitching really well but it’s been hard for us to score runs,” said Brett Gardner, who went 0 for 4. “We’ve got to win every day. … But we’re not in a good spot right now and it’s a shame because of our pitchers have really stepped up and done a good job, and as an offense we haven’t.”
Gardner admitted the playoffs “have been slipping away for a few weeks.”
“To be honest, I haven’t looked at the standings the last couple of days because at this point they don’t really matter,” he said. “We’ve got to win every day.”
Mired in an 0-for-24 slump, Jeter was given the night off. New York has won 13 East titles since Jeter’s first full season in 1996.
“It’s frustrating,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Eventually I think it’s got to turn, but it better turn pretty quickly here.”
Yankees third baseman Chase Headley was ejected by plate umpire Marty Foster in the seventh for arguing a called strike.
“I didn’t think what I said to him warranted the response that I got, and it just kept going,” said Headley, who played for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a pitch thrown by Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee on Thursday.
“He questioned some strikes. You should be allowed to do that,” Girardi. “I just think there’s a better way to handle it.”
Logan Forsythe got the Rays’ third hit of the game, a one-out single in the ninth off Shawn Kelley (3-6) and went to second on James Loney’s single. After pinch-hitter David DeJesus struck out and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce walked, Zobrist lined his hit to right.
Joel Peralta (3-4) walked one while pitching the ninth to help Tampa Bay get its 21st shutout of the season.
The Rays became the first team since the 1973-75 Boston Red Sox to beat the Yankees 10 or more times in three straight seasons.
Alex Colome, recalled from Triple-A Durham by Tampa Bay before the game, allowed six hits over 6 2-3 innings in his second big league start this season.
Chris Capuano gave up two hits and four walks in six innings. The left-hander lasted just one-third of an inning in his previous start Wednesday, allowing four runs, four hits and two walks in the Yankees’ 8-5 come-from-behind victory over the Rays.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (small right elbow ligament tear) threw in an instructional league simulated game and could return this weekend. … Carlos Beltran, who missed five games due to right elbow soreness before pinch-hitting Sunday night, was the DH. He will have offseason surgery to remove a bone spur.
The Rays will honor the retiring Jeter during a pregame ceremony Tuesday night. This is Jeter’s final road series against Tampa Bay. … Yankees RHP Michael Pineda (3-4) and Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (10-12) are Tuesday’s scheduled starters. Odorizzi needs seven strikeouts to tie Matt Moore’s single-season rookie team record of 175.
Some fans started chanting “De-rek Je-ter!” while waiting to see who would hit for Headley after his ejection. They responded by booing when Stephen Drew emerged from the dugout to finish the at-bat.
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