Yankees takeaways from Friday's 5-4 loss to Rays, including a costly outfield misplay

May 5, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jhony Brito (76) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
May 5, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jhony Brito (76) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A misplay in the outfield cost the Yankees a chance to steal the first game of their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, as New York fell 5-4 on Friday night.


- Jhony Brito continued to have trouble with the long ball in the first inning. After a two-run shot against the Rangers left him with a tough-luck loss in his last start, Brito gave up a two-out solo shot to Randy Arozarena to put the Rays up 1-0. After a double, Brito nearly gave up a two-run shot to Harold Ramirez. Harrison Bader had to catch a fly ball in dead center at the base of the wall.

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The Rays tacked on a run in the second inning thanks to a Jose Siri sac fly. And Yandy Diaz led off the third with a home run to extend the Rays’ lead to 3-0. Ramirez would ground into a force out, allowing Wander Franco to score after miscommunication between Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe. DJ LeMahieu made a nifty snag at third base to steal an extra-base hit and end the inning.

Brito had a short outing. His final line: 4 IP (65 pitches), 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

- The Yankees won’t get their first hit off of starter Yonny Chirinos until the fourth inning, a two-out LeMahieu single. Willie Calhoun walked, giving the Yankees men on first and second with Bader up. The center fielder hit a soft fly ball to right-center and Josh Lowe slid to steal a hit and RBI to end the threat.

- Things got a little heated in the fifth inning after Arozarena was plunked for the second consecutive at-bat. Arozarena took exception and almost threw his bat. The umpires conferred and gave each side a warning. Rays manager Kevin Cash argued the warning and was ejected. Between innings, it was shown on the television broadcast that Albert Abreu, who relieved Brito in the fifth, apologized to Arozarena.


Anthony Rizzo hit a one-out single in the sixth inning, which was followed by a Torres double that got by Siri. The ball would hop to the wall, allowing Rizzo to score and putting the Yankees on the board. LeMahieu walked, chasing Chirinos, but Calhoun struck out to bring up Bader with two on and two outs. Bader would be hit by a pitch but swing through to start the at-bat, but he bounced back to launch his first home run of the season (and first regular-season homer as a Yankee) and tie the game at 4-4.

- Abreu (1.1 IP) and Ian Hamilton (0.2 IP) left the Rays scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Jimmy Cordero started the seventh and gave up a lead-off walk before Volpe got the force at second on the next batter. A drive to left field by Wander Franco was misplayed by Jake Bauers, allowing Diaz to go home. The relay throw got to Jose Trevino as Diaz was about to touch home plate and the umpire called Diaz out. It was reviewed and overturned, giving Tampa a 5-4 lead. Michael King (1.2 IP) came in to get Arozarena and Lowe to end the inning. 

- In the eighth, the Yankees threatened. LeMahieu hit a one-out infield single (his fourth time on base) which was followed by pinch-hitter Kyle Higashioka's double. Bader came up with men on second and third but popped out to second base. Isiah Kiner-Falefa pinch-hit for Bauers but struck out. 

- Trevino grounded out, Oswaldo Cabrera struck out, to start the ninth. Volpe singled, but Rizzo lined out to center and the Yankees dropped the first game of the series, 5-4. 

What’s Next

The Yankees continue their three-game series with the Rays on Saturday afternoon starting at 4:10 p.m. in St. Petersburg. Fla.