ST. PETERSBURG — It was not a sure bet that Wil Myers would have been safe at second base in the 11th inning of Sunday's loss had he tagged up and tried to advance on James Loney's fly ball to left field. But with the score tied, it was certainly worth the risk.
“We were screaming for him to do that,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “I still don't think he would have made it because (LF Brett) Gardner has such a good arm, but it's still the right thing to do.”
At the very least, Maddon felt Myers should have tagged and run halfway before deciding if Gardner's throw would be on line.
“Even if I had tagged up I don't know if I could have made it,” Myers said.
The play became even bigger when Myers was caught stealing with Brandon Guyer up for the second out of the inning.
Maddon said Guyer missed a hit-and-run sign.
“It went awry,” Maddon said.
Bounce back for Ramos
LHP Cesar Ramos, making his second start since taking the spot in the rotation vacated by LHP Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery), rebounded well from his first start when he allowed four runs in two-plus innings against the Reds.
Ramos allowed only one run and four hits in five innings.
“He really, truly did his job,” Maddon said.
Ramos threw strikes, got the Yankees to put the ball in play and let his defense do the rest. Ramos, who tied the longest outing of his career, threw first-pitch strikes to 13 of the 20 batters he faced.
Replay leads to run
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning after the drive by Gardner that Myers caught at the right-field wall for the final out was found to have struck the top of the fence first.
Alfonso Soriano scored from third and Gardner was awarded a double.
“I was hoping he (caught it),” Ramos said. “Actually I thought it was stuck in the pads. It took (Myers) a second to show it, so I didn't know if I should walk off, stay? I guess that's one of the times you don't like replay.”
RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) resumed his throwing program Sunday when he played catch at 90 feet. He said he developed soreness in the elbow after throwing his curveball in Kansas City, so he took a week off from throwing.
“I haven't been in this situation before, so everyone said to expect at least one setback and hopefully this was it,” Hellickson said. “I don't really look at it as a setback. I felt fine. Just playing catch it didn't respond to the curveball like I wanted. Just took a couple of days off.”
Hellickson is still targeting an early June return.
CF Desmond Jennings was not in the lineup Sunday for the third straight day because of a sore groin. He said he doesn't believe it will be a lingering issue.
“I was coming in every day planning on playing,” he said.
RHP Alex Cobb (strained left oblique) said he should return in six weeks.
“It's such a lengthy rehab process,” Cobb said. “And if you really think about it, the healing process itself is probably not that long. If I was a position player or a bullpen guy, I'd be able to let this heal — build up one or two innings in three or four days and come back and play. But I'm going to have to start all over. I have to throw bullpens, live BP, maybe one or two, maybe three rehab starts. That's the really frustrating part.”
Ryan Hanigan's career-high six RBIs on Saturday were a team record for catchers as well as No. 9 hitters. He also was the first No. 9 hitter in major-league history to record six RBIs against the Yankees.
Hanigan is the 12th player in the past 100 years to hit two homers and drive in six runs while batting ninth.
Hanigan has three home runs this season, passing his 2012 and 2013 totals when he had two homers both seasons.
Saturday was the first time in Rays history that three players had at least four RBIs — Hanigan (6), Myers (4) and Evan Longoria (4). ... The Rays have scored one or no runs in seven of their 19 games. ... Their 14 strikeouts were a season high. ... The Rays are 1-6 against left-handed starters. ... Total attendance for the four-game series was 110,785. It was the first time since July 30-Aug 1, 2010, the Rays drew more than 100,000 for a series. They drew 110,919 for three games against the Yankees.