WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees miss Mariano Rivera.
In his second save opportunity since taking over as the Yankees' closer following Rivera's knee injury, David Robertson gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning, turning a 1-0 Yankees lead into a 4-1 loss.
The Yankees fall to 16-14 on the season. The Rays improve to 20-11, and take over sole possession of first place in the American League East, after the Orioles and Rangers were rained out in Baltimore.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Robertson loaded the bases with no outs, giving up singles to Sean Rodriguez and Brandon Allen, and a walk to Ben Zobrist. He struck out Carlos Pena looking, but then gave up a sacrifice fly to B.J. Upton, followed by a three-run homer to Matt Joyce.
Robertson hadn't allowed a run in 13 innings pitched so far this season, before tonight's game.
FOURTEEN OUTS: That's how many the Yankees got from 25-year-old rookie David Phelps, making his second major-league start.
Phelps threw 28 pitches in the first inning, wiggling out of a bases-loaded jam after giving up a double and two walks. But he settled down after that, giving up just a single over the next three innings.
After retiring the first two batters in the fifth, Phelps lost his command again. He gave up a double to Zobrist, and then back-to-back walks to Pena and Upton. At that point, Joe Girardi pulled the plug on Phelps after 89 pitches, one out short of being eligible for his first major-league win.
THREE FOR FOUR: The first three relievers to pitch for the Yankees on Wednesday night came up big.
Boone Logan relieved Phelps with the bases loaded in the fifth, and got Joyce to strike out swinging.
Cory Wade came on for Logan with a runner on second and two outs in the sixth, and got Rodriguez to ground out.
Rafael Soriano gave up a leadoff single in the eighth, and a second runner got aboard with no outs when Robinson Cano's throw to second on a grounder by Joyce pulled Derek Jeter off the bag for an error. But Soriano retired the next three batters in a row to preserve the 1-0 margin heading into the ninth.
ONE IS NOT ENOUGH: The Yankees scored their only run in the first inning, off Rays starter Jeff Niemann. Jeter led off the bottom of the first with a single and with two outs Cano drove Jeter home with a double over Joyce's head in left field.
The Yanks had just six hits on the night against Niemann, who went seven innings -- five singles, and the double by Cano. They got two more singles in the eighth and a single in the ninth against Fernando Rodney but failed to score in either frame.
WHAT'S NEXT: The rubber game of the series, Thursday night at 7:05. It's a great pitching matchup -- CC Sabathia (4-0, 4-15 ERA) for the Yankees, David Price (5-1, 2.35 ERA) for the Rays.