Tampa Bay at New York

Tampa Bay
N.Y. Yankees
W: D. Rasner (2-0) L: R. Lugo (2-3)
HR: TB - R. Baldelli (12), R. Baldelli (13)   NYY - H. Matsui (6)

Cano makes most of move up in lineup, helps Yanks to win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano made the most of his chance to hit in the top half of the New York Yankees' stacked lineup.

Moved up to the third spot when the Yankees reshuffled their batting order because of drizzly weather, Cano hustled for a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning that sent New York over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-4 Thursday night.

The All-Star second baseman had not hit above fifth this season and had never batted third in his major league career. But when Bobby Abreu was scratched, Cano slid into his slot.

"It means you're doing good," Cano said. "You just want to be in the lineup."

Cano doubled twice and drove in three runs, giving him 40 RBI in 36 games since missing six weeks because of a strained left hamstring. He's also hitting .339 -- he would be among the AL leaders, but is a few plate appearances short of qualifying.

The Yankees won their season-high sixth in a row and cut their magic number to six for clinching their ninth consecutive AL East title. New York could wrap it up by taking three of four from Boston this weekend, with a loss by third-place Toronto.

"Everyone is contributing," captain Derek Jeter said.

Jeter extended his hitting streak to 23 games, Hideki Matsui lined his first home run since missing more than 100 games because of a broken left wrist and Alex Rodriguez had a two-run single.

Rocco Baldelli homered twice and tripled for the Devil Rays in their fourth straight loss. He also flied out to deep center as the Yankees dropped Tampa Bay to 2-25 on the road since July 1.

"They're locked in right now. They're ready for the playoffs," Baldelli said. "I don't see many teams beating them the way they're playing right now."

With light rain falling and showers in the forecast, Yankees manager Joe Torre scratched starter Chien-Ming Wang and picked rookie Jeff Karstens to pitch.

Outfielders Johnny Damon and Abreu also were given a rest, rather than playing on the damp turf. The late switches prompted Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon to say the Yankees were bringing their "mudder" lineup for the wet track.

The Yankees did have a player injured, though it had nothing to do with the conditions. Jorge Posada was hit in the left elbow by a pitch that he swung at, left the game and is day to day.

Melky Cabrera resumed the at-bat with a 1-2 count and struck out, but it was charged to Posada.

Devil Rays starter James Shields left before the sixth because of cramping in his right hamstring, and doesn't expect to miss his next start. Shields and Karstens both pitched five innings, giving up four runs, six hits and a walk.

It was 4-4 when Kevin Thompson singled with one out in the Yankees seventh off Ruddy Lugo (2-3). After Bernie Williams singled, Shawn Camp relieved and struck out Jeter. Cano followed with a hard grounder through the hole at shortstop and ran hard for an RBI double.

Darrell Rasner (2-0) pitched four scoreless innings of one-hit ball for the win.

Down 4-1, the Yankees tied it in the fifth. Jeter hit an RBI single with two outs and Cano followed by slicing a liner that bounced out of left fielder Carl Crawford's outstretched glove near the wall and fell for a two-run double.

Matsui sent a drive off the facing of the upper deck in right field in the second, one of the best balls he could remember hitting.

"I don't know if it's the hardest, but it would fall in that category," he said through a translator.


  • Jeter's hitting streak is the longest by a Yankees player since Don Mattingly's 24-game string in 1986.
  • Crawford stole two bases, raising his AL-leading total to 52.
  • Baldelli's first multihomer game in the majors came on his mother's birthday. He has played three times in the majors on his mom's birthday, and has homered each game.
  • Devil Rays RF Delmon Young turned 21.
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.
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A-Rod continues his recent hot streak with a two-RBI single, moving his season total to 112.  (AP)
A-Rod continues his recent hot streak with a two-RBI single, moving his season total to 112. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

R. Baldelli
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
New York

R. Cano
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli, CF4333000 .310
Delmon Young, RF4011000 .371
Carl Crawford, LF4020001 .309
Greg Norton, 1B4000042 .297
Ty Wigginton, 3B3000012 .260
Dioner Navarro, C4000010 .260
Jorge Cantu, 2B3000100 .248
Kevin Witt, DH4000031 .175
Ben Zobrist, SS3110010 .239
3B - Rocco Baldelli (5, Karstens), Carl Crawford (14, Rasner)
HR - Rocco Baldelli 2 (13, Karstens, Karstens)
RBI - Rocco Baldelli 3 (47), Delmon Young (9)
SB - Carl Crawford 2 (52, 2nd base off Karstens/Posada, 2nd base off Karstens/Posada)
Team LOB - 4
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
James Shields 5644141 4.82
Jon Switzer 1000020 4.50
Ruddy Lugo (L,2-3) 0.1222010 4.09
Shawn Camp 0.2311020 4.46
Seth McClung 1000010 6.13
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 80-54, Jon Switzer 15-10, Ruddy Lugo 11-7, Shawn Camp 19-16, Seth McClung 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 4-7
Batters Faced - James Shields 22, Jon Switzer 3, Ruddy Lugo 3, Shawn Camp 5, Seth McClung 3
New York Yankees
Bernie Williams, CF4110013 .277
Derek Jeter, SS4121013 .346
Robinson Cano, 2B4123012 .339
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4012002 .289
Jason Giambi, 1B3000020 .251
    Andy Phillips, 1B1010000 .243
Jorge Posada, C4000012 .276
   a- Melky Cabrera, PH0000000 .284
    Sal Fasano, C0000000 .225
Hideki Matsui, DH3211110 .279
Aaron Guiel, RF4110010 .239
Kevin Thompson, LF4120022 .292
a-announced for Posada in the 7th
2B - Robinson Cano 2 (37, Shields, Camp), Kevin Thompson (2, Shields)
HR - Hideki Matsui (6, Shields)
RBI - Derek Jeter (93), Robinson Cano 3 (67), Alex Rodriguez 2 (112), Hideki Matsui (21)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (33), Robinson Cano 3 (31), Alex Rodriguez 2 (39), Hideki Matsui (7)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Karstens-Giambi
New York Yankees
Jeff Karstens 5644152 4.08
Darrell Rasner (W,2-0) 4100050 0.77
HBP - Wigginton (by Jeff Karstens)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 68-40, Darrell Rasner 45-36
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 5-4, Darrell Rasner 5-2
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 22, Darrell Rasner 13
Game Information
Attendance - 51965
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Doug Eddings