Ivan Nova got off to a rocky start at Tropicana Field and couldn't recover, as the Yankees fell to the Rays, 5-1, on Friday night. >> Read the full AP recap on SNY.tv.
- Nova was hit early and often, allowing five runs on six hits in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out three but allowed two home runs.
- Logan Forsythe started the game with a lead-off home run, and the Rays never looked back from there. Three batters later, Corey Dickerson added a solo home run.
- Chad Green came on to pitch in the fifth inning, allowing an inherited runner to score on a Steven Souza Jr. sacrifice fly.
- Green allowed just one hit over 3 2/3 innings of relief.
- Mark Teixeira drove in Jacoby Ellsbury with an RBI single in eighth inning.
After making some mental headway and necessary advances in the standings over the last few weeks, the Yankees enjoyed a much-needed off-day Thursday. However, instead of coming out fresh from the rest and ready to compete, the Yanks looked flat in every facet.
Nova, the epitome of inconsistency, showed why he was not wanted by other teams in the offseason, and completely deflated any value he had built in his last few starts. That said, the Yankees should still move Nova, even if it is for an 18-year-old in rookie ball, because he is a waste of a roster spot regardless of whether they buy or sell.
As for the offense, there was more of the same tonight. They out-hit the Rays, but went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and thorn in the club's side all season. If the players want to remain mostly whole for the rest of the summer, they need to win these next two games, or else the clubhouse might look quite different on Monday.
The Yankees continue their series with the Rays on Saturday at 6 p.m. from Tropicana Field. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-6, 4.80 ERA) gets the start for the Yankees and will match up with LHP Drew Smyly (2-11, 5.42 ERA).