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Slumping Yankees hit halfway mark at 41-40 after losing 4-3 to Rays in 12 innings

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Halfway through the season, the Yankees have won about half their games.

Logan Forsythe hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the 12th inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat New York 4-3 Monday night despite squandering a late lead.

Brian Roberts tied it in the ninth with a one-out homer off Rays reliever Joel Peralta. But the scuffling Yankees were unable to muster any more offence and lost for the seventh time in nine games.

"They were able to get the big hits at the end and we weren't," manager Joe Girardi said. "We've had two extremely tough losses on this homestand."

As the third-place Yankees (41-40) hit the midpoint of their season just off the pace in the muddled AL East, general manager Brian Cashman reiterated he's eager to upgrade the roster via trade.

"There are some things I need to do," Cashman said before the game. "I'm ready to rock and roll. But again, I think those who have, are taking their time. Certain pieces, it's been communicated that if they get what they want, which would be an extreme haul, they're ready to move sooner than later. For those who want to step up and really pay the price a month before the (trade) deadline hits, obviously there's going to be a higher price for that."

Chris Archer nearly became the first pitcher in more than a century to win his first five outings against the Yankees. He went seven innings and was in line for the victory until Roberts homered.

The last pitcher to start his career 5-0 in five games against New York was Washington Senators Hall of Famer Walter Johnson from 1907-08 — back when the club was still called the Highlanders.

The 25-year-old Archer has a 1.51 ERA in 35 2-3 innings against the Yankees.

Rays pitchers finished June with 287 strikeouts — breaking the major league record for one month set by the Chicago Cubs, who had 286 in August 2002.

"It was so special," Archer said. "We're going to be etched in stone for a while."

Brandon Guyer drew a two-out walk from Jose Ramirez (0-2) in the 12th and stole second. Forsythe lined the next pitch into centre field, scoring Guyer easily.

Brad Boxberger (1-1) pitched two perfect innings for his first major league win in 72 appearances.

"We fought, we got a huge home run — we just couldn't get one more big hit," Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. "Once our offence clicks on a consistent basis, I think we'll be tough to beat."

Kevin Kiermaier homered in his third straight game and Matt Joyce also went deep for the resurgent Rays (36-49), who have their first three-game winning streak since taking a season-best four in a row May 22-25. They've won five of six overall and no longer own the worst record in the majors, a distinction that had belonged to them every day since June 4.

Ryan Hanigan gave the Rays a 3-2 lead in the eighth with an RBI single off closer David Robertson. Hanigan's clutch hit came after Dellin Betances issued consecutive two-out walks.

"I couldn't make pitches with two outs," Betances said. "That's why I was so frustrated: I couldn't end the inning."

New York pitchers have walked 16 in the last two games.

Joyce, who tied team records with five hits and 12 total bases Sunday in Baltimore, connected off David Phelps in the first inning for his third home run in two games.

Going into Sunday, Joyce had three homers all season — none since May 11.

Kiermaier, who had three hits, made it 2-0 with a leadoff shot in the third, but the Yankees finally broke through against Archer in the bottom half. Brett Gardner grounded an RBI triple inside first base and scored on Derek Jeter's groundout.

NOTES: New York LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) threw a bullpen at Yankee Stadium and is scheduled to throw about 50 pitches in a rehab start Thursday for Double-A Trenton. "Hopefully, he's on the horizon," Cashman said. ... When Rays LHP David Price starts Tuesday night, he'll try to join Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers to strike out at least 10 in six consecutive games. In 22 career starts against the Yankees, Price has never fanned 10. ... RHP Michael Pineda (right shoulder muscle) isn't expected back until at least August, Cashman said. ... Rays SS Yunel Escobar is headed to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 25, with a sore right shoulder.

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