Friday night wasn’t a complete loss.
Masahiro Tanaka looked like his October version, tossing five shutout innings to give the Yankees’ starting rotation a needed boost.
That’s where the positives end. The Yankees usual potent bats couldn’t solve the Rays’ deep bullpen and fell, 1-0, to open this four-game series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Adam Ottavino’s wildness was the difference. The right-hander walked two of the first three hitters he faced in the home eighth inning, and his wild pitch, enabling the go-ahead run to advance to third, set the stage for Michael Perez’s sacrifice fly.
The Yankees (9-4) managed just two hits and went homerless for the first time this season. Chaz Roe went the final six outs for the victory and retired the Yankees in order in the ninth. Gleyber Torres made the final out, flying out to shallow center field, and is in the midst of an 0-for-24 slump. He’s not the only Yankee struggling. Giancarlo Stanton is 2-for-21 going back to the end of July and Aaron Hicks is hitting .188.
After starting 8-1, the Yankees have dropped three of four. This time, though, starting pitching wasn’t the problem, as it had…