The New York Yankees continued their recent slump on Tuesday, losing a 5-3 game against the Tampa Bay Rays (box score) that represented their 17th loss in their last 23 contests. New York's latest defeat was notable for another reason -- it came in front of owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman, who traveled to join the team in St. Petersburg because of the skid.

"Because of how we've been playing, I've decided to join us," Cashman told reporters before the game. "It's been a struggle, obviously. Thankfully we got out of the gates really strong, so hopefully that cushion will allow us to work through this hopefully sooner than later on because it's gone on long enough."

The Yankees, who are still in possession of the top American League wild-card spot, were up in the East by 3 1/2 games as recently as June 14. Less than a month later, they now trail the Baltimore Orioles by three games -- that's a 6 1/2-game swing in a matter of weeks.

Cashman also admitted that he had "concern" about how the Yankees have played as of late, and added that "it's my job to be in a position to never assume anything." The Yankees are, of course, expected to be buyers ahead of MLB's July 30 trade deadline. New York has already been tied in rumors to Chicago White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet. CBS Sports recently ranked Crochet as the best player likely to move this deadline

Just a few days ago, our Mike Axisa detailed three things the Yankees have to do to break out of their recent slump. Chief among them: get better pitching from Carlos Rodón and Marcus Stroman. Rodón did not answer the call on Tuesday, surrendering four runs on five hits across four innings of work versus the Rays. Stroman will get his chance to right the ship on Wednesday night.