By Bradley Walker, 1010 Sports

NEW YORK (CBS) If the Rays thought New York would take it easy on them during this three-game series, they need to think again. Tampa Bay has dropped two straight games at Yankee Stadium and fell 2 1/2 games back behind Boston in the AL Wild Card race.

After last night’s shutout loss, the Rays dropped a 4-2 heart breaker this afternoon, allowing the Yankees to control their playoff fate during a crucial late season showdown with Boston.

New York could diminish the Rays’ playoff hopes if they complete the sweep and win the second game of a day/night double header which kicks off tonight at 7 PM ET.

James Shields started this afternoon and went 7 1/3 innings allowing four earned runs on six hits. He gave his team a chance to score some runs and pounce early on New York, but the Rays’ bats remained dormant.

Desmond Jennings drove in the only two runs for Tampa Bay with his two-run homer in the third, but it wouldn’t be enough to quiet the heavy-hitting Yankee lineup.

The Rays held a 2-1 lead in the eighth, but a quick homer from Eduardo Nunez tied the game at two apiece. J.P Howell came on for Shields in the eighth and quickly gave up a two-run double to Robinson Cano to put the Yankees up 4-2.

It all happened so suddenly, and now the Rays see themselves 2 1/2 back with seven games remaining on their schedule. At this point it is out of their hands, and you can hear Boston shouting, “Catch me if you Can.”


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