With CC Sabathia hitting the DL with right knee inflammation, the Yankees needed someone to take his spot in the rotation. The choice was Luis Cessa, and he took the mound at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night to hopefully give his team enough to get to the bullpen and ride out another win.
Instead, he put them in a big hole early.
Cessa allowed five runs on seven hits over 3.1 innings in his start. He also struck out four and walked two over that span.
Cessa's problem was not getting ahead of hitters early in the count, and the Rays made him pay. It was evident in the third inning when the Rays already had two runners on with no outs. Cessa ended up walking Jake Bauers to load them up, and after getting a strikeout on Joey Wendle, Ji-Man Choi drove in the Rays' second run after a bullet to Didi Gregorius at short.
It could have been a lot worse with Gregorius making a great play. But Cessa couldn't make up for the good defense, allowing a single to Kiermaier on a 2-0 count to make it 3-1 Rays.
Things got worse in the fourth when Mallex Smith, who entered the game with just one homer, got all of a fastball from Cessa and put it to the second deck.
This is the second straight outing Cessa has allowed five runs, after getting crushed by the Red Sox on Aug. 2 in Boston.