New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is hoping Friday's loss is a wake-up call for his club.
"That's an embarrassing loss," the skipper said following his team's 9-0 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. "That's hopefully one of those rock bottom situations where you should be pissed off and embarrassed."
After looking nearly unbeatable for most of the season, the Yankees have come crashing back to Earth and now hold just a five-game lead over the second-place Rays in the AL East. The third-place Toronto Blue Jays trail by seven games, while the Baltimore Orioles are also fighting for a postseason spot at 8 1/2 games back.
The Yankees have lost five of their last six and are coming off a dismal August during which they lost 18 of 28 contests and only won one series - a two-game sweep of the New York Mets.
To begin September, New York was shut out by the Rays who once trailed the Bronx Bombers by 15 1/2 games. Friday's contest remained close until the Rays scored six runs in the eighth inning. Yankees hitters struck out 13 times while managing just five hits.
The Yankees also lost outfielder and key deadline acquisition Andrew Benintendi in the third inning to a wrist injury. X-rays were negative, but the All-Star is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday. They were already without first baseman Anthony Rizzo who recently had an epidural for a back ailment.