The Red Sox were able to knock David Price out of Sunday’s game, but they dropped another one to the Rays anyway, leaving them just two games up in the wild card standings.
The Rays, who were nine games back on Sept. 3, beat the Red Sox for the sixth time in seven games this month.
Aiming for win No. 201, Tim Wakefield gave up three runs in the second and another in the fourth, putting Boston in a big hole. Still, there was hope for the Red Sox. After taking a Mike Aviles liner off his chest in the third, Price struggled in the fourth, giving up two runs, and then left as a precaution.
Unfortunately for Boston, the pitching staff wasn’t able to hold the Rays offense in check afterwards. Wakefield allowed two more runs in the fifth and Andrew Miller gave up two in the seventh. The Red Sox came back with three of their own in the seventh, making it 8-5, but that was the end of the scoring for the day.
In the end, the Red Sox lost despite outhitting the Rays 8-7 and collecting the game’s only homer, a three-run shot from Mike Aviles. Aviles and Darnell McDonald actually drove in all of Boston’s runs, as the big bats came up empty.
The Rays got three hits and three RBI from Matt Joyce, plus two hits and a steal from Desmond Jennings.
Both the Red Sox and Rays have 10 games left. Seven of Boston’s are against the Orioles, with a three-game series in Yankee Stadium sandwiched in between. The Rays will play the Yankees seven times, with their weekend series coming against the Blue Jays.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have re-signed left-hander CC Sabathia to a one-year, $10 million contract. The deal does not come with options and is still pending a physical, which is expected to take place later today.
Sabathia, 37, is poised to enter his 18th season in the majors and his 10th in New York. He went 14-5 in 27 starts with the 2017 Yankees, improving on his 2016 totals with a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 148 2/3 innings. He provided a welcome boost in the playoffs, too, keeping the Yankees alive in an ALDS Game 5 clincher and returning in Game 3 of the ALCS with six shutout innings.
The Yankees weren’t Sabathia’s only suitors this winter, which comes as little surprise given the southpaw’s durability and consistency on the mound, to say nothing of the leadership role he’s assumed in the Yankees’ clubhouse. From Sabathia’s agent, Kyle Thousand (via Joel Sherman of the New York Post):
There were very competitive offers out there that really made CC take his time. In the end, he feels there’s unfinished business to attend to. Loves his teammates, clubhouse and the moves the Yankees are making this offseason. [He] wanted to come back for his 10th season with the Yankees.
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation adds that the Yankees had freed up the $10 million for Sabathia’s contract after trading Chase Headley to the Padres last Tuesday. The club is expected to continue pursuing additional pitching depth this offseason, and has been linked to names like Zack Greinke, Chris Archer and Gerrit Cole so far.