New York at Tampa Bay

N.Y. Yankees
Tampa Bay
W: T. Miller (1-0) L: T. Sturtze (4-2)
S: D. Baez (26)
HR: NYY - G. Sheffield (26)   TB - A. Gonzalez (8)

Devil Rays 7, Yankees 6

CBS wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Once again, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays showed how vulnerable George Steinbrenner's Yankees have become.

Alex Gonzalez homered and drove in four runs and Jonny Gomes snapped an eighth-inning tie when when he scored on Tanyon Sturtze's wild pitch, giving the last-place Devil Rays a 7-6 victory over New York on Wednesday night.

The Yankees, who are 0-3-1 in series against Tampa Bay this season, wasted opportunities to pull within 3½ games of first-place Boston in the AL East and tighten the AL wild-card race, which finds them trailing Oakland by 1½ games.

"It's frustrating. This is where you really have to earn your money," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Things aren't always going to be wonderful, because then it would be easy to play this game. You really have to fight your way through times like this."

Gonzalez had a RBI single off Al Leiter in the second and tied the game with a run-scoring double off Tanyon Sturtze (4-2) in the eighth.

Gomes, who had singled, raced home and to put the Devil Rays ahead for good when Sturtze threw a pitch over the head of catcher Jorge Posada. The rookie slid head-first, just ahead of Posada's throw to Sturtze at the plate.

"I threw one up and in the pitch before and I thought that's where we were going again," Sturtze said. "Jorgie thought we were going to go sinker. It was just miscommunication between me and him."

The Devil Rays rallied from a three-run deficit to win for the second straight night. Eduardo Perez tied Tuesday night's game with a ninth-inning homer off Mariano Rivera, and Gomes drew a bases-loaded walk in the 11th to finish a 4-3 victory.

"It just shows the Yankees - with their history and with their payroll and with their All-Stars - they're not bulletproof," Gomes said. "In between the lines, there's no salaries and no world champions. It's nine-on-nine, plus your bullpen and bench. It just shows anyone can win."

With Steinbrenner, who lives in Tampa, cheering from his private box at Tropicana Field, Gary Sheffield hit a three-run homer off Mark Hendrickson to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning.

An inning later, Steinbrenner was shaking hands with fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures when the momentum shifted on Gonzalez's two-run homer off New York reliever Aaron Small.

The Boss was long gone by the eighth, when the Devil Rays wiped out a 6-5 lead the Yankees took on Posada's RBI single in the seventh. The victory improved Tampa Bay's record against New York to 9-4 this season.

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella joined Hall of Famer Fred Clarke and Torre as the only managers in major league history with 1,500 wins and 1,500 hits.

"I told these kids, 'We're not going to win a pennant. We're not going to go to postseason, but this is not rope-a-dope. Let's get in the middle of the ring and throw some right hands, and let's get after it.' And that's really what they're doing," Piniella said.

Second baseman Robinson Cano opened the door for the winning rally with a two-base throwing error on Aubrey Huff's routine ground ball leading off the bottom of the eighth.

Trever Miller (1-0) pitched one inning for the victory. Danys Baez worked the ninth to earn his 26th save.

Leiter allowed one hit through five innings, but never seemed in control because he walked five and hit a batter in addition to giving up a RBI single to Gonzalez and sacrifice fly to Damon Hollins in the second.

The Yankees went to their bullpen after the left-hander, who has walked 27 in 35 1/3 innings since joining New York on July 16, gave up a single to Huff with one out in the sixth. Small struck out Gomes before giving up the two-run homer to Gonzalez that trimmed New York's lead to 5-4.

Hendrickson allowed five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three.

Leiter gave up three runs and two hits in 5 1/3 innings.


Gomes was hit by a pitch four times in the series, including three times on Monday night. He scored Tampa Bay's second run after being plunked by Leiter in the second inning. ... Yankees DH Jason Giambi went 0-for-2 with two walks and is hitless in his last 15 at-bats.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

A. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
New York

G. Sheffield
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS5220003 .304
Robinson Cano, 2B4100101 .277
Gary Sheffield, RF4123000 .302
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4000002 .314
Hideki Matsui, LF4011000 .299
Jason Giambi, DH2100212 .274
    Tony Womack, PR-DH0100000 .240
Jorge Posada, C4011020 .252
Bernie Williams, CF4000012 .251
Tino Martinez, 1B3011110 .239
HR - Gary Sheffield (26, Hendrickson)
RBI - Gary Sheffield 3 (94), Hideki Matsui (90), Jorge Posada (52), Tino Martinez (45)
2-OUT RBI - Gary Sheffield 3 (24), Hideki Matsui (31), Tino Martinez (9)
SB - Tony Womack (24, 3rd base off Miller/Hall)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Jeter-Cano-T. Martinez
PB - Jorge Posada (6)
E - Robinson Cano (12, Wild throw)
New York Yankees
Al Leiter 5.1233540 6.09
Aaron Small (BS,1) 1322121 3.10
Alan Embree 0.2010000 7.51
Tanyon Sturtze (BS,4; L,4-2) 1211010 4.25
HBP - Gomes (by Al Leiter)
WP - Tanyon Sturtze (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Al Leiter 87-44, Aaron Small 25-15, Alan Embree 8-5, Tanyon Sturtze 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Al Leiter 6-5, Alan Embree 2-0
Batters Faced - Al Leiter 23, Aaron Small 7, Alan Embree 2, Tanyon Sturtze 5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Nick Green, 2B5110013 .248
Carl Crawford, LF4011010 .287
Jorge Cantu, 3B3000110 .289
Eduardo Perez, 1B1100210 .274
   a- Travis Lee, PH0000000 .269
   b- Julio Lugo, PH1000001 .295
    Joey Gathright, CF0000000 .292
Aubrey Huff, RF-1B4210002 .264
Jonny Gomes, DH2210111 .281
Alex Gonzalez, SS4134001 .264
Toby Hall, C2000201 .283
Damon Hollins, CF-RF3001022 .258
a-announced for Perez in the 7th
b-grounded out for Lee in the 7th
2B - Nick Green (13, Small), Alex Gonzalez (12, Sturtze)
3B - Carl Crawford (13, Small)
HR - Alex Gonzalez (8, Small)
SF - Damon Hollins (2)
RBI - Carl Crawford (65), Alex Gonzalez 4 (28), Damon Hollins (37)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gonzalez 2 (13)
PK - Carl Crawford (4, Embree)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Cantu-Green-Huff
E - Jorge Cantu (19, Misplayed grounder), Toby Hall (7, Wild throw)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Mark Hendrickson 5.2654351 6.75
Jesus Colome 1.1000000 5.60
Trever Miller (W,1-0) 1111100 4.22
Danys Baez (S,26) 1000000 2.85
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Hendrickson 100-56, Jesus Colome 15-10, Trever Miller 14-5, Danys Baez 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Hendrickson 7-6, Jesus Colome 2-2, Trever Miller 1-1, Danys Baez 1-2
Batters Faced - Mark Hendrickson 27, Jesus Colome 4, Trever Miller 4, Danys Baez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20178
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Lance Barksdale