The New York Yankees playoff hopes were already on life support as it is heading into their final home series of the 2013 season against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Former Yankee Jason Giambi's go-ahead home run for the Cleveland Indians didn't help the Yankees case, as it knocked their number down from three games to two, and with another defeat, it would reduce the Yankees number for elimination down to just one.
The Rays came into Yankee Stadium looking to hold onto their lead in the American League Wild Card and came into the game with a huge sense of urgency. Matt Joyce showed just that with a lead-off, solo home run off starter Hiroki Kuroda to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Later in the inning, David DeJesus's RBI double gave Tampa a 2-0 lead and then Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly made it 3-0 and put the Yankees and Kuroda in a quick hole before their offense even got to swing a bat.
It's not like the Yankees didn't have their chances to get back into the game against lefty Matt Moore, as he ran into trouble in the bottom of the first and loaded the bases with two outs, but was able to escape further trouble when he struck out Mark Reynolds to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, the Yankees had a chance to get in the game, as the Yankees had bases loaded with one out and Reynolds flied out for the second out and Eduardo Nunez's groundout ended another scoring threat for the Bombers.
In the bottom of the fourth inning against Moore, the Yankees got runners on second and third with two outs, but Alex Rodriguez fled out to center field and ended another scoring threat, keeping the game at 3-0.
In the top of the sixth, Kuroda ran into trouble again, as James Loney's two-run double made it 5-0 Rays, as the life simply went out of Yankee Stadium and the Yankees offense, who just seemed like they were out of the game at this point.
For Moore, he only was able to go five innings, but didn't allow a run on three hits, walked six and struck out four; the Rays lefty flirted with disaster all game long, but managed to hang tough and wiggled out of trouble when he needed the big outs for Tampa Bay.
As far as Kuroda goes, he went 5.2 innings and allowed five runs on five hits, walked two and struck out five and his second half woes continued for the Yankees, who were hoping for a solid start out of Kuroda, but it seems like he has run out of gas late in the season.
In the top of the ninth inning, Delmon Young's RBI double and DeJesus' RBI double pushed the Rays lead out to 7-0, which is what the final score ended up being, as the Rays dominated the Yankees in their own building and took the first of three in the series, 7-0. Moore got the win and improved to 16-4, while Kuroda dropped to 11-13.
With the loss, the Yankees number for elimination drops down to one; as either an Indians win or a Yankees loss will end the Yankees chances for October and the postseason; the first time since the 2008 season.
On Wednesday, it will be Phil Hughes (4-13, 5.07 ERA) going for the Yankees in what could be his final start for the team, as he will oppose Rays ace David Price (8-8, 3.43 ERA.)
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