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New York Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda throws to first on Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier's first inning bunt ground out in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


Yankees lose 4th in a row, Price pitches Rays to win

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - Updated: 7:21 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Midway through the New York Yankees' latest loss, batting coach Kevin Long was ejected for arguing balls and strikes from the bench.

That was more noise than most of his hitters made.

David Price came within one pitch of extending his remarkable strikeout streak, yet still did plenty to lead the resurgent Tampa Bay Rays over the Yankees 2-1 on a warm Tuesday night.

The Yankees equaled their worst skid this year with their fourth straight loss, dropping to 41-41. They managed only four hits, fanned 11 times and were beaten for the eighth time in 10 games.

"The guys we have, they've got to get it done. That's the bottom line," manager Joe Girardi said. "As I said, it's not just a couple of guys going, it's a number of guys."

"No one is going to feel sorry for you," he said. "No one has a magic potion. You just have to grind it out."

The middle of the order -- Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Brian Roberts and pinch hitter Brian McCann -- went a combined 0 for 14.

"These guys have career track records. These are the guys that we have and these are the guys that have to get it done on a nightly basis," Girardi said.

The Yankees have scored just 31 runs in the last 10 games.

"As a team you have some stretches where you play, and you have some stretches where you don't play well," Beltran said.

Derek Jeter scored the Yankees' only run, and that came on a botched rundown. He had their main hitting highlight: He tied Lou Gehrig's team record with his 534th career double.

Jeter has done a lot of damage against Price, tagging him in 2011 for a home run that was his 3,000th career hit. At 40, this is Jeter's final season -- this game marked the 10th anniversary of his often-replayed dive into the stands for a catch against Boston.

"I'm going to miss seeing Jeter on the field, but I'm not going to miss him in the box," Price said.

James Loney hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and the Rays matched a season best with their fourth straight win.

Price (7-7) struck out nine -- he fanned at least 10 in each of his previous five starts, and was trying to join Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers to accomplish the feat six straight times.

The left-hander gave up four hits and was pulled after seven innings and 119 pitches. He fanned Francisco Cervelli for the second out in the bottom of the seventh, then got two strikes on both Yangervis Solarte and Brett Gardner, missed with a couple of close pitches and couldn't quite get strikeout No. 10.

"He was dealing," Beltran said.

In 23 career starts against the Yankees, Price has never reached double digits in strikeouts.

Jake McGee pitched a perfect eighth and Grant Balfour worked around a pair of walks in the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances. Solarte grounded out to first base with runners on first and second to end it.

It was 1-all when Loney hit the first pitch of the sixth from Hiroki Kuroda (5-6) into the Yankees bullpen in right-center field.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria opened with singles and, after Loney struck out, Logan Forsythe hit an RBI single.

A wild throw on a rundown gave the Yankees a run in the bottom half.

Jeter led off with a double and went to third on Jacoby Ellsbury's single. Price trapped Ellsbury with a pickoff throw, but he was hit in the back by shortstop Ben Zobrist's throw and Jeter scored.

NOTES: Cervelli nearly tumbled over the dugout railing while catching Zobrist's foul pop in the first. Rays manager Joe Maddon helped steady the backup catcher, who started in place of McCann. In the ninth, McCann pinch hit and looked at strike three with a runner on first. After hitting just .221 with nine homers and 36 RBIs at the halfway mark, McCann said he's been "horrible" this season. An All-Star with Atlanta, he signed an $85 million, five-year deal with the Yankees. Girardi said it was just a regular day off for rest. "I believe he's going to hit," Girardi said. "At times, I think he's been a little anxious." ... Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-7, 4.14 ERA) starts against LHP Vidal Nuno (2-4, 5.42) in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.


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