Rapid Reaction: Rays 6, Yankees 3

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2
4:48
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have reached the lowest point of their season, dropping to under .500 at 41-42.

They have lost a season-high five in a row. During this once-promising 15-game streak against AL East teams, they finished 6-9. Against the two teams beneath them in the East standings, the Yankees just lost five of six at home.

They trail the first-place Blue Jays by 4 1/2 games.

Under .500: The last time the Yankees were 41-42 was 2007. That summer -- saved by a kid from Nebraska named Joba Chamberlain -- the Yankees rallied to make the playoffs with 94 wins.

The Yankees hadn't been under .500 in 2013 since they were 4-5.

Missed chances: Down two runs in the seventh, the Yankees put two runners on base, but Carlos Beltran and Kelly Johnson both struck out. Beltran even lost his bat into the Legends seats on his swing and miss of an 85 mph changeup from Juan Carlos Oviedo. It seemed appropriate the way the Yankees are swinging -- and missing -- these days.

In the eighth, Brian Roberts knocked a two-out double, setting up Yangervis Solarte. What did he do? Struck out against Joel Peralta.

The Yankees were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Kelley crush: Shawn Kelley continues to struggle. He came in during the sixth with the score tied and gave up a long, two-run homer to No. 7 batter Sean Rodriguez.

You don't judge relievers based on ERA (Kelley's is now up to 4.63) -- rather, you look at middle men by assessing the confidence you feel when you call to the bullpen. Right now, Joe Girardi can't have much faith in Kelley, which is another headache for the manager.

Vidal numbers: Vidal Nuno wasn't great, but he wasn't terrible for a second straight time. I know, that is some compliment.

Nuno's line -- five innings, four runs on eight hits -- is nothing great, but he kept the Yankees in the game. The last run he gave up wasn't really his fault as he allowed a leadoff single in the sixth before being lifted for Kelley.

Nuno was handed three leads and couldn't handle any of them. Still, at this point, the bar is low on the expectations for Nuno -- and he met them.

Gardner the great: Brett Gardner tried to win the game by himself. He led off the bottom of the first with a home run and added an RBI single in the fourth. In the seventh, he knocked a leadoff single, but it was wasted.

On defense, in the fifth, he threw out a runner at the plate. Alas, Gardner is only one man.

McCann goes deep: After allowing a run to score on a passed ball in the top of the third, Brian McCann went deep in the bottom half. McCann has 10 homers on the season.

Solart-E: In the ninth, Solarte made a throwing error that helped the Rays add an insurance run. Johnson, playing first for the injured Mark Teixeira, bobbled a potential inning-ending double play ball that could have prevented the run.

Iron Horse saluted: To commemorate Lou Gehrig's speech 75 years ago, the Yankees wore a patch on their uniforms, painted a couple of No. 4s on the grass next to the baselines and gave away bobbleheads.

On deck: The Yankees begin an 11-game road trip in Minnesota to end the first half of the season. They will play four each against the Twins and Indians before ending up in Baltimore for three. On Thursday, it is an intriguing pitching matchup: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Phil Hughes.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 70
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .750
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.77
SOH. Kuroda 137