Yanks outslugged by Rays in 3rd straight loss

Yanks outslugged by Rays in 3rd straight loss

ST. PETERSBURG -- Saturday night's Rays-Yankees contest came down to a home run battle, which the Rays won for a 6-3 victory at Tropicana Field

"Good win, exciting win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Crowd was involved. Always nice to see a crowd like that. Saturday night ballgame. And they showed up."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Yankees on Saturday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod K's 4 times in first start since July 22

A-Rod K's 4 times in first start since July 22

ST. PETERSBURG -- Given the starting nod for the first time since July 22, Alex Rodriguez didn't make it count during the Yankees' 6-3 loss to the Rays on Saturday.

He struck out for times in four plate appearances. Three times swinging, once looking. He was put in the lineup because of better splits against left-handed pitching

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Be mine: Didi makes catch off B-Ring at Trop

Be mine: Didi makes catch off B-Ring at Trop

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tropicana Field presents a unique baseball environment and an ever present challenge for visiting teams. But Didi Gregorius looked right at home snatching a ball that careened off the B-Ring behind shortstop during the Yankees' 6-3 loss to the Rays on Saturday.

With Tampa Bay leading 1-0, Steven Souza Jr.'s second-inning fly ball looked like it would be a routine out for left fielder Brett Gardner. Instead it hit the B-Ring and came sailing back to the ground quickly. The Tropicana Field ground rules state that the ball is in play, and it would have been a hit for Souza had it landed.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pineda looks to tame Rays in series finale

Pineda looks to tame Rays in series finale

Rays left-hander Blake Snell has made eight Major League starts, but he's yet to make a start against the same team twice. That will change on Sunday, as he'll be on the mound against the team he made his MLB debut against in April.

Snell will face the Yankees with Tampa Bay seeking a sweep in the final game before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. And like the rest of the Rays' rotation, Snell has been lights out during his last two starts. He's allowed just two runs over 12 2/3 innings since the start of the second half.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mitchell (toe) nearing end of 4-month recovery

Yankees reliever was injured in Spring Training

Mitchell (toe) nearing end of 4-month recovery

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell was back with the team on Saturday after throwing one inning of a rain-shortened simulated game at the club's Spring Training complex in Tampa, Fla.

The 25-year-old was set to break camp with New York and make the Opening Day roster, but he fractured his left big toe covering first base at the end of Spring Training. He's nearing the end of his four-month recovery.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks held in check on rough night for Nova

Yanks held in check on rough night for Nova

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are hard to beat when they get pitching and the long ball. And that's exactly the recipe they used Friday night to defeat the Yankees, 5-1, at Tropicana Field.

Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson staked starter Jake Odorizzi to a 2-0 lead in the first with solo homers off Yankees starter Ivan Nova. Tampa Bay continued to add runs after the opening frame, and Odorizzi and the bullpen did the rest.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Yankees on Friday.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nova frustrated with ump, himself during loss

Yankees right-hander lasts just 4 1/3 innings to open crucial series vs. Rays

Nova frustrated with ump, himself during loss

ST. PETERSBURG -- As Yankees starter Ivan Nova walked off the mound following a laborious 4 1/3-inning start Friday, he exchanged words with home-plate umpire Laz Diaz before hurling his glove against the dugout wall.

Three of the first four batters had reached to start the fifth inning for Tampa Bay. Nova had walked three overall and seen his strike count nearly level with his ball count all night. In the first game of an important three-game series for New York, Nova couldn't get the job done in a 5-1 loss.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Final series before Deadline big for Yankees

Outcome of three games vs. Rays could alter perception about club

Final series before Deadline big for Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG -- The non-waiver Trade Deadline is Monday. Three games against the Rays are the last chance the Yankees have to define themselves to the front office.

"I think this weekend is big for us. I do," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before a 5-1 loss in the series opener. "I think people are looking at us different. That's why I think this weekend is important. To keep that consistency."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka, Yanks can't close out Houston sweep

Tanaka, Yanks can't close out Houston sweep

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus snapped an 0-for-29 slump at an opportune time.

Rasmus, whose seven-game hitless streak tied his career high, cranked a two-run home run in the third inning Wednesday night off Masahiro Tanaka to back a strong start from Lance McCullers Jr. and send the Astros to a 4-1 win over the Yankees at Minute Maid Park.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

The 5 toughest 'buy or sell' dilemmas

Royals, Yankees, Mariners, White Sox, Rockies have decisions to make before Trade Deadline

The 5 toughest 'buy or sell' dilemmas

No general manager faces a tougher couple of days than Dayton Moore of the Royals. He has a team on the fringe of the postseason race and veteran players who might bring a bounty of young talent.

Buy or sell?

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Disappointed' Tanaka has off night in Houston

'Disappointed' Tanaka has off night in Houston

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka has been somewhat of a road warrior for the Yankees this season, but his last two starts, including Wednesday night's 4-1 loss to the Astros, haven't shown it.

After posting a Major League-best 1.14 ERA in his first eight road starts this season, the right-hander has since given up 11 runs -- seven earned -- in his last two road starts, a combined 9 2/3 innings pitched. Against the Astros on Wednesday night, Tanaka gave up seven hits and four runs in only five innings.

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Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod celebrates 41st birthday from bench

A-Rod celebrates 41st birthday from bench

HOUSTON -- Alex Rodriguez walked into the visitor's clubhouse at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday afternoon wearing a nice dress shirt and jeans. He strolled over to his locker before changing into a midnight navy shirt and green shorts.

Rodriguez then sat down and began to roll up his high socks when pitcher Michael Pineda, who went seven innings in the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Astros Monday night, greeted Rodriguez, fist bumped the veteran and uttered a single phrase.

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Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rutherford, Torres among top prospect performers Thursday

Rockies catcher continues torrid month; Yankees' first-round pick hitting .429 at Pulaski

Rutherford, Torres among top prospect performers Thursday

Tom Murphy is likely hoping July never ends considering the Rockies' No. 11 prospect has raised his batting average over 100 points in 16 games so far this month.

Murphy went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored in Triple-A Albuquerque's 8-3 win over Salt Lake.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Miller fooling hitters into attacking the wrong pitches

Relief ace has third-highest called strike rate in baseball

Miller fooling hitters into attacking the wrong pitches

If there's a reason the Yankees may not trade Andrew Miller, it's probably not because their recent run of eight wins in 10 games has kept their American League Wild Card hopes alive. It's because the high return they received in the Aroldis Chapman trade may have set extremely high expectations. After all, if the Yanks could do as well as they did for an impending free agent with obvious off-field baggage, what would they require for a pitcher who's just as dominant and is signed, reasonably, through 2018?

The price would be so high, in fact, that it hardly seems possible for anyone to meet it, but the Yankees wouldn't be wrong for demanding it. Though Miller may not throw 105 mph like Chapman, over the past calendar year, he's struck out more, walked fewer and basically been better -- and he's doing it in a way that we've rarely seen before.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury racking up catcher's interference calls

Yanks outfielder has already set MLB single-season mark this year

Ellsbury racking up catcher's interference calls

Jacoby Ellsbury doesn't know why it's happening so often now, he says, because his swing has always been fundamentally the same. This season, though, he just keeps hitting the catcher's mitt with his bat.

Ellsbury has reached base via catcher's interference nine times this year, a Major League single-season record -- surpassing a mark set by Roberto Kelly, who had eight in 1992 with the Yankees -- and New York has only played 100 games.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks back CC, hold off Astros for series win

Yanks back CC, hold off Astros for series win

HOUSTON -- CC Sabathia won for the first time in more than a month by holding the Astros to two runs -- on solo homers by Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis -- in 6 2/3 innings to lead the Yankees to their eighth win in 10 games, 6-3, on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

"I've been doing everything I can and trying not to get frustrated," Sabathia said. "We've been playing pretty well. We're fighting right now, so to be able to help us get a win feels good."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sabathia sees positive results as tide turns

Lefty snaps his 4-game losing streak as NY takes series

Sabathia sees positive results as tide turns

HOUSTON -- The way CC Sabathia breaks it down, his stuff didn't feel drastically different than it had been in his last six starts. The end result was, however, as the big left-hander picked up his first victory since June 16 in the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Sabathia limited the Astros to a pair of solo homers, hit by Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis, as he notched his first quality start since that outing against the Twins at Target Field almost six weeks ago.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Warren excited to be back 'home' with Yanks

Righty returns to NY from Cubs in Chapman trade

Warren excited to be back 'home' with Yanks

HOUSTON -- The shock of being traded by the only organization he had known was dissipating, and Adam Warren wanted to embrace a new beginning. The right-hander decided that a little spring cleaning might help, and so he emptied his drawers of anything with the word "Yankees" on it.

Fortunately, as Warren remarked on Monday, those team-issued shirts and shorts are still in boxes. He will have the opportunity to break them out of storage now that he is back in a Yankees uniform, following his acquisition from the Cubs in Monday's blockbuster Aroldis Chapman trade.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rays' No. 13 prospect knocks in career-high five runs, Reds' No. 18 scores winning run and hits for cycle

Sanchez among top prospect performers Tuesday

Justin Williams tied his career high for homers in a season and set a career high for RBIs in a game. Not bad for a day's work.

Williams, the Rays' No. 13 prospect, went 3-for-4 with five RBIs Tuesday as he led Double-A Montgomery to a 10-5 win over Pensacola.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Extremely valuable' Torres highlights trade haul

'We like the entire package,' Cashman says of players in Chapman trade

'Extremely valuable' Torres highlights trade haul

HOUSTON -- The Yankees made it clear that it wouldn't be cheap to pry Aroldis Chapman and his high-octane fastball from their grip, but when the Cubs agreed late on Sunday to part with top prospect Gleyber Torres, general manager Brian Cashman knew it was time to strike a deal.

In addition to right-hander Adam Warren, who is expected to rejoin the big league roster on Tuesday in Houston, the Chapman deal added three prospects to New York's farm system. In New York's view, the prize is the 19-year-old Torres, who is rated as the No. 24 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman goes to Cubs for Warren, 3 prospects

Chicago's No. 1-ranked Torres part of package Yankees get for hard-throwing closer

Chapman goes to Cubs for Warren, 3 prospects

HOUSTON -- The Yankees bought low and sold high on Aroldis Chapman, flipping the flame-throwing closer to the Cubs on Monday afternoon in exchange for a four-player package that includes 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, Chicago's top prospect.

New York also reacquired right-hander Adam Warren, who was traded to Chicago this past offseason, and received Minor League outfielders Billy McKinney (ranked No. 5 in the Cubs system) and Rashad Crawford. Torres is rated as the No. 24 prospect in the game by MLBPipeline.com.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pineda outduels Keuchel as Yanks nip Astros

Pineda outduels Keuchel as Yanks nip Astros

HOUSTON -- The Yankees somehow found a way to get the best of nemesis Dallas Keuchel on a night he had some of his best stuff of the season.

Chase Headley and Austin Romine each had RBI hits to back seven strong innings from starter Michael Pineda to lead the Yankees to a 2-1 win over Keuchel and the Astros in the series opener Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cashman: Chapman trade 'isn't a white flag'

Cashman: Chapman trade 'isn't a white flag'

HOUSTON -- The Yankees started the season knowing that they wouldn't have Aroldis Chapman's services for the first two months, and even with the closer now on his way to finish the year with the Cubs, general manager Brian Cashman wants his team to go back to that original mindset.

"This isn't a white flag," Cashman said. "This is a rearrangement, as well as capitalizing on maximizing the acquisition cost on Aroldis Chapman. We'll see where it takes us. I just think it was the right move for our franchise."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Severino returns to Yankees from Triple-A

Severino returns to Yankees from Triple-A

The Yankees recalled right-hander Luis Severino from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before Monday's game against the Astros in Houston, the club announced.

A corresponding roster move was not announced by the Yanks, but bringing up Severino could be the move to fill the roster spot that opened up with the trading of closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for a four-player package.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees stun Giants with rare DP combo

Castro, Green, Headley turn 4-1-5 double play in 8th inning

Yankees stun Giants with rare DP combo

NEW YORK -- 4-1-5 may be the most prominent area code in San Francisco, but it was the Yankees who used those numbers to answer the call and disconnect a budding Giants rally in their 5-2 victory on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

With one out and Mac Williamson at first base in the eighth inning, Ramiro Pena hit a hard grounder to the right side that second baseman Starlin Castro smothered with a diving stop, tossing to pitcher Chad Green covering first base.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltran, Teixeira homer to back Eovaldi in win

Beltran, Teixeira homer to back Eovaldi in win

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira homered as Nathan Eovaldi threw a season-high 118 pitches, leading the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Giants on Sunday as they prepared to take their swirling trade speculation on the road.

Amid reports that the Yankees are listening to offers on closer Aroldis Chapman, they were able to complete a 6-4 homestand without calling upon the three big arms of Chapman, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, all of whom were unavailable. Eovaldi gave them the lengthy outing they needed, going 6 2/3 innings and credited his cutter to his performance.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eovaldi's strong start latest for rolling rotation

Eovaldi's strong start latest for rolling rotation

NEW YORK -- Whether it's luck, good timing or things finally starting click, perhaps the most pivotal stretch of the Yankees' season thus far just coincided with perhaps the team's best string of pitching performances.

The Yankees won six of their last eight contests to end a 10-game homestand, capping the stretch with Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Giants. Over those eight games, the staff has allowed fewer than two runs per game (13 total), 10 of which counted against the starters.

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Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.