Yankees ruin Derek Jeter’s night in brutal loss to Rays


After savoring a pre-game ceremony on Friday, in which he bestowed cheers and lavish love on Derek Jeter, a boisterous Yankee Stadium crowd spent much of the following hours venting their frustrations with the current Yankees.

While the loudest boos were reserved for Aaron Hicks, who was pulled midgame after a pair of defensive errors in left field, the rest of the Yankees weren’t immune to the grunts as they lost to the Rays 4-2 in front of a sold-out crowd of 46,160.

After a rocky start to a critical series against the Rays (78-58), the Yankees (83-56) now lead Tampa Bay by just 3½ games in the AL East. It’s the smallest lead for their division since May 9.

Another stripped Yankees lineup couldn’t mount an attack on Rays right-hander Drew Rasmussen, who struck out 10 in six shutout innings. The Yankees scored a pair of runs against the Rays bullpen, but it wasn’t enough.

“The season waits for no one,” manager Aaron Boone said before the game. “Our job is to prepare as best we can for a very good opponent. … We know where we are, we know we’re stoned, we know we’re definitely in the midst of some adversity from a roster perspective. But it’s an opportunity for the guys and we have to prepare to play.

Aaron Hicks reacts after striking out to end the first inning.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

A reprieve from the boos came in the seventh inning, when Aaron Judge, naturally, roped in an RBI left reliever Jalen Beeks who tagged Oswald Peraza – who ducked under the home tag and was deemed safe during of replay – to get the Yankees within 4-1.

Another came in the ninth, when Kyle Higashioka crashed a solo homer to make it 4-2. After Marwin Gonzalez flew to the warning track, the judge made a move to bring up Gleyber Torres, who also flew to the warning track to end it.

The Rays, meanwhile, reached Frankie Montas for four runs over 5 ²/₃ innings. Three of those runs scored on a pair of tough plays from Hicks in left field that led to him being retired after the fourth inning.

Hicks’ first mishap came with one out and runners at first and second. Rays star Wander Franco, who went 3-for-5 upon returning from an extended stint on the injured list, kicked a fly ball to left field. Hicks ran to find him, but dropped the ball just before crossing the foul line. He then took a few seconds to pick it up, apparently thinking it was a foul. In the aftermath, both runners scored and Franco moved into second place for a brace and a 3-0 lead.

Frankie Montas returns to the dugout after round two.
Frankie Montas returns to the dugout after round two.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

After Hicks was inundated with loud boos and a brief “Joey Gallo” chant, Randy Arozarena came on and ripped a left line that went over Hicks’ head and dropped for an RBI brace that put the Rays up. up 4-0.

Boone then called on Estevan Florial to replace Hicks in left field to start the fifth inning, a move that drew cheers from the exasperated crowd.

Hicks had lost his day job last month after the arrival of Andrew Benintendi, but recent injuries to Benintendi and a slew of other Yankees have led Hicks to return to the lineup more regularly – as a as No. 3 hitter, no less, Friday night. . He went 0 for 2 with a pair of strikeouts.

Derek Jetere looks at his Hall of Fame plaque.
Derek Jeter looks at his Hall of Fame plaque.
Robert Sabo for NY POST
Gleyber Torres reacts after striking.
Gleyber Torres reacts after striking.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Rays quickly jumped on Montas in the first inning. They swung on each of the first three pitches he threw, with the last two going for back-to-back doubles from Franco and Arozarena that gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

The Yankees threatened to respond in the third inning against Rasmussen, as a simple judge placed the runners first and third with one out. But Torres and Hicks followed with strikeouts, each drawing boos from the crowd.

New York Post

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