The Yankees were blown out by the Rays, 9-0, and had to resort to using Marwin Gonzalez on the mound.
After manager Aaron Boone said he hoped the unwelcome addition of a pennant race would bring out the best in his Yankees, they went out and played one of their worst games of the season. The Yankees’ slide continued, and their lead over the Rays dropped to five games — the lowest it has been since June 1 — and just four ahead in the loss column.
It was the Yankees’ fifth loss in their past six games — following a five-game winning streak — while Tampa Bay won its fourth straight.
The Yankees’ offense was a no-show again as they were shut out for the sixth time in their past 25 games. And the lineup took another hit when Andrew Benintendi left with a right wrist injury.
The bullpen was shoddy, as well, with Greg Weissert and Anthony Banda giving up three runs each before Gonzalez came on to get the final out in the bottom of the eighth.
“We’re gonna see what this team’s made of,’’ Aaron Judge said. “No team has ever coasted into the postseason. We’ve got to go out and bring it every single day.”