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20.09.2018

Luis Cessa flops in fill-in start as punchless Yankees fall to Rays.

Of the four bins Aaron Boone and pitching coach Larry Rothschild had to pick a starter from Wednesday night, there wasn’t a hidden gem in any of them. Sonny Gray was a failed starter. Luis Cessa has been on the shuttle between The Bronx and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a reason. Chance Adams has been bothered...
Time: 22:43     Date: 15.08.2018
Last US Sport News: Luis Cessa flops in fill-in start as punchless Yankees fall to Rays. NY Post 24 - US News

Sonny Gray was a failed starter. Luis Cessa has been on the shuttle between The Bronx and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a reason. Chance Adams has been bothered by control issues since being sent back to SWB after one start in the big leagues. It’s obvious the Yankees believe Justus Sheffield requires more work against minor league hitters.

So, the pick was Cessa to essentially take CC Sabathia’s roster spot if not pitch in the veteran lefty’s exact slot, which would have come Friday.

And with the punchless Rays the opponent, there was a chance Cessa could trick them long enough to get the game to the bullpen. Instead, Cessa and his straight-as-rain fastball didn’t make it out of the fourth and the Yankees dropped a 6-1 decision in front of 42,716 irritable Yankee Stadium customers.

Cessa, who is 1-3 as a starter, gave up five runs and seven hits in 3 ¹/₃ innings and the Yankees have to hope Sabathia’s balky right knee doesn’t keep him on the DL longer than 10 days.

Most of the blame can accurately be dumped on Cessa’s shoulders, but don’t ignore the Yankees’ bats. After scoring a pedestrian four runs on Tuesday night four Rays hurlers held them to a run and five hits on Wednesday.

A dejected Giancarlo Stanton walks to the dugout after striking out swinging to end the seventh inning.Corey Sipkin

The best scoring chance to plate multiple runs for the Yankees surfaced in the fourth when they loaded the bases with no one out and didn’t score.

Miguel Andujar’s march toward AL Rookie of the Year honors continued with a 2-for-4 game that included his 19th homer and 59th RBI. He started the game leading all AL rookies in those categories as well as with his .294 batting average.

While the self-loathing Yankees fans booed Cessa as he left the mound and grumbled about Giancarlo Stanton striking out in the seventh, Gray gave up a run in 3 ¹/₃ innings in his third straight relief outing. That was the bright side. On the flip side, he allowed four hits and three walks.

Working with a four-run lead to start the home fourth, Rays starter Jake Faria walked two of the first three batters and was replaced by right-hander Chaz Roe. He hit Neil Walker to load the bases for Austin Romine who struck out looking. Ronald Torreyes hit a roller toward third that he was initially called safe on but a review reversed the call and three runners were stranded.

As he does for all the starters, Boone said he was looking for Cessa to “pitch effectively.’’

Cessa fell short of his manager’s expectations and you wonder if Boone will give Cessa a chance to make a fourth big-league start this season.

“If he is throwing strikes he is a guy with dynamic stuff and capable of getting any lineup out,’’ Boone said before the game. “I expect him to give us a chance to win and hopefully he can get us into the middle innings and we take it from there.’’

Those numbers indicate Cessa didn’t give the Yankees much of a chance since he put them in a four-run hole.

Leading 3-1 in the fourth, the Rays chased Cessa on Mallex Smith’s two-run homer that stretched the lead to 5-1. Cessa started the inning by fanning Brandon Lowe before giving up a single to No. 9 hitter Michael Perez. Cessa’s next pitch was to Smith and his last.

Cessa loaded the bases without an out in the third inning when Smith and Matt Duffy singled and Jake Bauers walked. Cessa struck out Joe Wendle in front of Ji-Man Choi’s grounder to Didi Gregorius that forced Bauers at second and scored Smith. Kevin Kiermaier’s single plated Duffy for a 3-1 lead.

The Rays’ 1-0 lead didn’t last long because the sizzling Andujar opened the home second with a homer to left off Faria. It was Andujar’s 19th homer, which tied slumping teammate Gleyber Torres for the AL lead among rookies. The homer lifted Andujar’s leading RBI total to 59 which was seven ahead of Torres who was in second place.

Kiermaier’s one-out double in the second turned into a run when Lowe’s first big-league hit, an opposite-field bloop single to right, scored Kiermaier for the game’s first run.

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