- Associated Press - Saturday, July 30, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Drew Smyly found his curveball and ended a long personal skid.

Smyly struck out Alex Rodriguez three times en route to stopping an 11-start winless streak, and the Tampa Bay Rays sent the New York Yankees to their third straight loss, 6-3 Saturday night.

“I’ve been kind of fighting my offspeed pitches all season, and when you’re not locating your offspeed, it makes pitching tough,” Smyly said. “I don’t have an overpowering fastball, so I need those secondary pitches to keep the hitter off balance.”

Smyly (3-11) gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, and Alex Colome worked the ninth to get his 24th save. Tampa Bay is 7-5 since losing 24 of 27.

“Tonight was the best he’s felt with his curveball in quite some time,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Brad Miller hit a solo homer in the first, and Curt Casali had a two-run drive during the third. Tim Beckham made it 6-2 on a two-run shot in the seventh off Anthony Swarzak.

“Jumping on them early, I think as an offense that’s a good mentality to have,” Miller said. “That definitely ignites everybody and gets them going.”

It was Smyly’s first win since beating Toronto on May 16 and his second over the Yankees this season.

“I’m really excited about the way I’ve been pitching after the break, and there’s a lot of season left,” Smyly said.

New York had won eight of 10 before the skid. Having already traded closer Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees could deal right fielder Carlos Beltran, pitcher Ivan Nova, reliever Andrew Miller or others before Monday’s deadline to make trades without waivers.

“They’re frustrating losses,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve been inconsistent all season long.”

San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox both had two scouts at the game. Others teams scouting the series include Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Texas, Toronto and Washington.

Brett Gardner and Chase Headley homered for the Yankees. Nathan Eovaldi (9-7) allowed three runs and three hits in six innings.


Rays: RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) made his third rehab start, striking out five over three hitless innings for Double-A Montgomery.


Yankees RHP Michael Pineda (5-9) will face Snell (2-4. Pineda has won his last two starts.

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