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Yankees fall 1-0 to Rays in series opener

The Yankees tallied just two hits in their 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

Masahiro Tanaka’s pitch count was once again limited, as he tossed just 59 pitches, but boy was he effective. After allowing a two-out single in the first inning, he retired the final 13 batters he faced. That single by Yandy Diaz was the only baserunner Tanaka allowed, while he struck out five Rays. Forty-four of Tanaka’s pitches were strikes, and he has allowed just five hits and one earned run in his 7.2 innings of work this season.

The Yankees’ lone two hits were a single in the sixth by DJ LeMahieu, and a leadoff double by Mike Tauchman in the eighth. That rally was quickly killed, however, as he then made the first out at third base, a big baseball no-no, on a grounder to short. Instead of a runner on second with one out, there was just a runner on first, halting any potential rally. Aaron Judge struck out, and Aaron Hicks grounded out to end the inning.

Adam Ottavino struggled in the eighth inning, walking two batters and throwing a wild pitch before allowing a sacrifice fly to Michael Perez to give the Rays a late 1-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.

After allowing a leadoff double, Luis Cessa retired the next six batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings. Cessa has not allowed an earned run in 3.1 innings of work this year.

While the offense as a whole struggled, Gleyber Torres is now 0 for his last 24 after an 0-for-4 effort, while Gary Sanchez went 0-for-2 with a strike out with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning. Sanchez is now 3-for-33 (.091) with 19 strikeouts.

The Yankees will play their second doubleheader this week. Gerrit Cole will look to win a 20th-consecutive start on Saturday in game one at 2:10 pm, while both Rays’ starters, as well as the Yankees’ game two starter, are TBD.