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N.Y. Yankees «0000002002490
Tampa Bay0000200000240

A-Rod's 10th-inning single lifts Yankees over Rays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- With Alex Rodriguez struggling with runners in scoring position, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays took a calculated gamble against the New York Yankees slugger -- and lost.

Rodriguez snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a RBI single in the 10th inning, helping the Yankees finish a 4-2 comeback victory over the Devil Rays, who elected to pitch to the two-time American League MVP with first base open and runners at second and third.

The reason?

Hideki Matsui was on deck.

"Matsui, to me, is one of the best clutch hitters in all of baseball, so I prefer not pitching to him. You take your chances right there on A-Rod," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

"Their whole lineup gives you something to think about, but you set your strategy. It doesn't mean that what we did was wrong, it just didn't work out. ... You pick your poison. We chose ours, and we ate it."

Rodriguez has only two hits in his last 18 at-bats and is hitting .242 with runners in scoring position. He broke a 2-2 tie with a line drive to center off Ruddy Lugo, driving in Johnny Damon, who led off the 10th with a ground-rule double off Tyler Walker (0-2).

Matsui, who the Devil Rays planned to walk if Rodriguez had made an out, followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.

While Lugo was being summoned from the bullpen to replace Walker, Yankees manager Joe Torre called Rodriguez back to the dugout.

"It's weird. You don't get called from the on-deck circle unless they're pinch-hitting for you," Rodriguez said. "He just basically said no matter how it goes, just trust it, swing it and don't worry about it."

Torre said he actually had intended to talk to A-Rod before he went to the on-deck circle.

"He just gets to the point where he tries to do too much. That's basically what it is," Torre said. "I said just trust that the ball will find a hole somewhere and have an at-bat where you're going to make good contact."

Kyle Farnsworth (1-0), the fourth of five Yankees pitchers, worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the victory. Mariano Rivera pitched the 10th for his fifth save in six opportunities.

Light-hitting Tomas Perez hit a two-run homer off Yankees right-hander Jaret Wright to give the Devil Rays a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Pinch-hitters Jorge Posada and Miguel Cairo drove in runs charged to Tampa Bay starter Casey Fossum to make it 2-2 in the seventh.

Perez was an unlikely candidate to snap a scoreless tie, considering he was mired in a 2-for-32 skid that included a stretch of eight straight strikeouts -- one shy of the major league record for a non-pitcher.

Wright allowed two runs and three hits in six innings. In addition to Perez's second homer since Aug. 30, 2004, the Yankees starter gave up Carl Crawford's infield single in the fourth and a ground single to Sean Burroughs, who scored on Perez's homer.

Fossum took a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning of a 5-2 victory over Boston last Friday and was equally stingy against Yankees until the seventh with help from double-play grounders in the second, fifth and sixth.

The left-hander also escaped a jam in the fourth after hitting Jason Giambi with a pitch and giving up a two-out single to Matsui. Giambi was stranded at third when Bernie Williams hit a dribbler up the third-base line and Fossum threw him out at first.

The Yankees let the Devil Rays starter off the hook in the sixth when Rodriguez grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Fossum wasn't as fortunate in the seventh. Williams singled for the Yankees' third hit and Robinson Cano doubled to finish Fossum. Posada singled off reliever Chad Orvella to trim Tampa Bay's lead to 2-1, and New York tied it on Cairo's RBI grounder to third base.

Fossum allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Notes

  • Yankees RF Gary Sheffield missed his third consecutive game with a left wrist injury. Sheffield said he was "encouraged" after undergoing treatment and didn't rule returning in the next couple days.
  • The same defensive shift Tampa Bay used a couple of times last weekend against Boston's David Ortiz was employed against Giambi in three of the New York designated hitter's five plate appearances. In addition to positioning third baseman Sean Burroughs in deep left as a fourth outfielder, second baseman Ty Wigginton was stationed in shallow right. Giambi walked on five pitches in his first at-bat and was hit by a pitch his next time up. He struck out the third time.
 
Copyright 2014 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.
 
 
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Jaret Wright allows two runs and three hits in six innings, but a lack of runs gives him a no-decision.  (AP)
Jaret Wright allows two runs and three hits in six innings, but a lack of runs gives him a no-decision. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Williams
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
New York

J. Posada
AB 2
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4110101
Derek Jeter, SS4100100
Jason Giambi, DH2000210
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4011113
Hideki Matsui, LF5021001
Bernie Williams, RF5130014
    Bubba Crosby, RF0000000
Robinson Cano, 2B3110102
Andy Phillips, 1B2000001
   a- Jorge Posada, PH-C2011000
Kelly Stinnett, C2000010
   b- Miguel Cairo, PH-1B2001011
Totals354946513 
a-singled for Phillips in the 7th
b-grounded out for Stinnett in the 7th
Batting
2B - Johnny Damon (, T. Walker), Robinson Cano (, Fossum)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez (), Hideki Matsui (), Jorge Posada (), Miguel Cairo ()
CS - Alex Rodriguez (, 3rd base by R. Lugo/Hall)
Team LOB - 8
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright 6322231
Ron Villone 1000000
Mike Myers 0.2100000
Kyle Farnsworth (W,-) 1.1100020
Mariano Rivera (S,) 1000010
WP - Jaret Wright ()
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 81-42, Ron Villone 12-6, Mike Myers 10-7, Kyle Farnsworth 16-12, Mariano Rivera 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 6-9, Ron Villone 1-2, Mariano Rivera 1-1
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 23, Ron Villone 3, Mike Myers 3, Kyle Farnsworth 5, Mariano Rivera 3
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Joey Gathright, CF3000210
Carl Crawford, LF4020002
Jonny Gomes, DH4000013
Ty Wigginton, 2B4000032
Toby Hall, C4000001
Travis Lee, 1B4010000
Damon Hollins, RF4000011
Sean Burroughs, 3B4110000
Tomas Perez, SS4112000
Totals35252269 
Batting
HR - Tomas Perez (, Wright)
RBI - Tomas Perez 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Tomas Perez 2 ()
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Wigginton-T. Perez-Lee, Burroughs-Wigginton-Lee, Burroughs-Lee, Hall-Burroughs
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Casey Fossum 6.1422420
Chad Orvella (BS,) 0.2100000
Shawn Camp 1000110
Tyler Walker (L,-) 1.1222110
Ruddy Lugo 0.2200010
HBP - Giambi (by Casey Fossum)
Pitches-Strikes - Casey Fossum 97-56, Chad Orvella 11-6, Shawn Camp 12-6, Tyler Walker 29-18, Ruddy Lugo 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Fossum 10-4, Chad Orvella 2-0, Shawn Camp 2-0, Tyler Walker 3-0
Batters Faced - Casey Fossum 25, Chad Orvella 3, Shawn Camp 4, Tyler Walker 7, Ruddy Lugo 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17059
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Jim Joyce