ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York’s record-setting offense took another night off in Tampa Bay in a feeble showing that was even worse than their extra-inning loss on Tuesday.
Charlie Morton and the Tampa Bay bullpen combined on a one-hitter and the Rays held their lead in the AL wild-card race, beating the Yankees 4-0 Wednesday night.
“This is what they’re capable of,” Boone said. “This is a big reason why they’re in this position because they can really pitch.”
Morton (16-6) threw 64 of 100 pitches for strikes.
New York’s offense has picked a lousy time to disappear, with just three game remaining before October baseball begins in the Bronx. A night after striking out 13 times and going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, the Yankees struck out another 16 times Wednesday.
Tampa Bay has a 1 1/2-game lead over Cleveland. The Rays started play a half-game behind Oakland. The Rays swept a two-game series from the 102-win Yankees, holding them to DJ LeMahieu’s soft, clean single to right field with two outs in the sixth inning off Morton.
“He was hitting his spot, good (velocity) as always, and that curveball, it’s a good pitch,” LeMahieu said.
Morton struck out nine and walked three in six innings. Four relievers finished it out for the Rays.
New York — who have scored the most runs in baseball — was held to just one run in 21 innings during the two-game-series.
Joey Wendle homered on the third pitch from opener Jonathan Loaisiga (2-2) and Brandon Lowe added an RBI single in the first.
J.A. Happ, who will be a reliever in the postseason, replaced Loaisiga to start the second. The lefty allowed one run, four hits and struck out six over five innings.
Matt Duffy’s sixth-inning RBI double off Happ put Tampa Bay ahead 3-0.
Avisail Garcia made it 4-0 on a solo shot in the eighth — the ball hit one of the catwalks at Tropicana Field, rattled around the beams for a moment and then dropped down, where it was caught in left field by Cameron Maybin. By the ballpark’s ground rules, that’s a home run.
After LeMahieu’s hit, Aaron Judge drew a walk from Morton. The right-hander got out of the jam by getting a grounder from Brett Gardner.
Nick Anderson entered with two on and two outs in the eighth and struck out Judge.
The Yankees’ ALDS opponent has not been officially determined but AL Central champion Minnesota is the likely foe. “They’re a beast,” Boone said. “We know how dangerous they are. It’s a team that if you’re not executing you’re in some trouble.”
New York had been chasing the Astros for the best record in baseball — which would have put them in the ALDS against the winner of the Wild Card — but those dreams are nearly gone thanks to the sweep in Tampa.
The Yankees did not homer and are tied with Minnesota for the most in the majors with 299. No team has ever hit 300.
Yankees LHP CC Sabathia felt good one day after striking out two during a perfect fourth inning Tuesday in his first regular season relief appearance after making 560 starts. Boone hasn’t ruled out using the 39-year old in back-to-back games.
Yankees RHP Domingo Germán’s administrative leave under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy has been extended through the World Series. MLB and the players’ association agreed to the extension, which ends Germán’s season.
2B Gleyber Torres fouled a ball into the dirt and it bounced up and hit him in the jaw. He finished the at-bat and Boone said he is fine.
3B Gio Urshela, hit on the left hand by a pitch Tuesday, didn’t play but could start Friday.
C Gary Sanchez (strained left groin) and DH Edwin Encarnacion (strained left oblique) went through extensive pregame workouts and are expected back this weekend at Texas.
A starting pitcher for Friday night’s game at Texas has not been announced.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)