CC Sabathia endured a rough second inning and the Yankees couldn't generate enough offense to overcome it in a 3-1 loss to the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score
Things to know about Sunday's game
1) The Yankees struggled offensively aside from a fifth-inning solo home run by Aaron Hicks, who went deep for the eighth time of the year. The Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.
2) Sabathia recovered from a three-run second inning to pitch 7 2/3 innings in his third straight quality start for the Yankees. He struck out 10 batters and allowed 10 hits. Adam Warren replaced Sabathia and allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings of work.
3) Didi Gregorius hit his second triple of the season, but did not score. Gregorius and Hicks each had two hits, while Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez also had hits. Stanton struck out twice with runners in scoring position, while Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres each went 0-for-4. Neil Walker and Aaron Judge went 0-for-3.
4) The Yankees produced four hits against Rays starter Wilmer Font, who struck out five batters but was unable to complete five innings. The Rays' bullpen combined to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless frames to seal the win.
Sabathia may have taken the loss, but some good came of his effort.
In the short term, Sabathia's outing will go a long way toward navigating Monday's finish of the suspended game and subsequent remake of a rainout with the Nationals. Pitching is always an issue with doubleheaders even if the first game is most of the way completed.
In the long term, Sabathia, who is not often allowed to pitch deep into games, demonstrated he can be left in games longer than what has become the new normal for him. Sabathia needs to be economically sound as he was on Sunday, finishing with 102 pitches in his 7 2/3 innings of work.
The distance was something Sabathia used to provide on a regular basis, but in recent seasons, receiving six innings has become satisfactory for the left-hander. Any extra innings Sabathia can provide in his starts going forward benefits the overall health of an often-used bullpen.
Highlights from Sunday's game
The Yankees resume a suspended game against the Washington Nationals and play a full make-up game on Monday night before returning home on Tuesday to open a series with the Mariners at Yankee Stadium.