Yankees’ bats too quiet again in loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Aaron Judge homered again on Sunday.

The rest of the Yankees’ lineup hardly did anything, though, as they dropped a second straight to Tampa Bay, 4-2, to split the series at Tropicana Field.

For the third consecutive game, they were held to two runs or less and Luis Severino and the bullpen weren’t able to overcome the lack of offense.

Gleyber Torres gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead when he led off the top of the second with a homer to left. It was Torres’ ninth home run of the season — matching his total from all of last season in less than a third as many plate appearances.

Miguel Andujar followed with a single through the right side of the infield and — after Aaron Hicks lined out — moved to third when Yandy Diaz misplayed Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s grounder to first for an error.


With runners on the corners and one out, the Yankees failed to capitalize, as Kyle Higashioka struck out and Joey Gallo grounded to second.

Tampa Bay tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning, as Ji-Man Choi matched Torres with a leadoff homer.

The Yankees threatened again in the third, as DJ LeMahieu and Judge opened with opposite-field singles to right.

But Anthony Rizzo and Torres whiffed and Andujar grounded out to end the threat.

The Yankees fell behind in the bottom of the fifth when Severino allowed another solo shot, this one to Taylor Walls, the infielder who called the Yankees “very beatable” on Thursday.

Torres and Andujar singled to start the sixth before Hicks lined to third and Kiner-Falefa grounded into an inning-ending double play, started nicely at third by Walls, who went far to his left.

Severino issued his first two walks of the day to start the bottom of the seventh. He struck out Manuel Margot and was replaced by Ron Marinaccio.

Marinaccio walked Walls to load the bases for Harold Ramirez, pinch hitting for Brett Phillips. Ramirez walked to force in a run and give the Rays a 3-1 lead. Marinaccio continued to crumble by hitting Mike Zunino with a pitch to make it 4-1.

Torres made a strong throw home on a grounder by Vidal Brujan to get Walls at the plate for the second out and Marinaccio fanned Kiermaier to keep it a three-run game.

Judge led off the eighth with a homer off Colin Poche for his MLB-best 18th home run on the season.