Where should we start?
The Yankees lost Zack Britton to the injured list, Gleyber Torres to a tight hamstring and then a game to the Rays, 10-5 on Thursday. Things didn’t get better after the game, when manager Aaron Boone announced started James Paxton was getting an MRI after feeling discomfort in his forearm/elbow from the start.
Tampa Bay came to The Bronx and won three straight to take over first place in the AL East as the Yankees stumble into the Subway Series. They’ve also lost six of seven to Tampa Bay this season.
The injury news regarding Britton and Torres is worrisome — if almost expected now.
With the loss, the Yankees were swept at Yankee Stadium in a multi-game series for the first time in nearly three years, when Cleveland did it in 2017.
Paxton didn’t allow a hit until the fifth and the Yankees got homers from Luke Voit and Gio Urshela and it still wasn’t enough, as Adam Ottavino and Luis Avilan combined to give up five two-out runs in the sixth — including a three-run homer by Mike Zunino.
Voit gave the Yankees the lead in the first, belting a homer for a fourth-straight game. The solo shot to dead center also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
As Paxton cruised early, the Yankees added to their lead after Mike Tauchman singled with one out in the third and moved to third on an Urshela double.
With the infield in, Torres rocketed a ball to short that was knocked down by Willy Adames. Tauchman scored, but Torres stumbled on his way to first and was removed from the game before the fourth with what the team called a tight hamstring. He was replaced by Thairo Estrada.
It was another blow to a lineup already without DJ LeMahieu (left thumb sprain), Aaron Judge (right calf sprain) and Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring strain).
Paxton faltered in the fifth. He struck out Hunter Renfroe to start the inning, but then walked Adames and Manuel Margot. Joey Wendle followed with a double to left to score Adames and Margot to tie the game.
It was the only hit allowed by Paxton in his five innings and it was costly. The Rays took their first lead with Mike Brosseau’s sacrifice fly to left.
After three strong innings from Trevor Richards, the right-hander was pulled with one out in the fifth. With Voit on first, Urshela took Diego Castillo deep, as the Yankees went back up, 4-3.
Ottavino came on to start the sixth and immediately gave up a double to Yandy Diaz and walked pinch-hitter Brandon Lowe. He retired the next two batters, but Margot delivered a run-scoring single to tie the game.
Avilan came in and gave up a bullet off the wall to Joey Wendle. Then Zunino hit one out to left to make it 8-4.
The Yankees’ staged a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Wade doubled, Aaron Hicks walked and Voit drove in Wade with a single, but Tauchman tapped out to the catcher to end the threat with the Yankees down three runs and they never got closer.