New York at Tampa Bay

N.Y. Yankees
Tampa Bay
W: J. Wright (11-7) L: J. Seo (3-11)
HR: NYY - B. Abreu (13), H. Matsui (8), J. Damon (23), A. Cannizaro (1)   TB - T. Wigginton (24)

Yanks wallop Rays with six-run first inning

CBS wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The New York Yankees' big night at the plate was overshadowed by postgame news about Randy Johnson's back.

Manager Joe Torre announced after the 16-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday night that Johnson will miss his final regular-season start because of back spasms.

"My back is locked up right now," Johnson said. "Get it taken care of and get ready for the postseason game. Getting the treatment and doing things accordingly. It's the best thing to do. Maybe the time off will help. That's what I chose to do. Joe was in agreement with that."

Johnson (17-11) had been scheduled to pitch Thursday night against Baltimore. Mike Mussina will move up one day to make that start.

"He's not going to start again until the playoffs," Torre said of Johnson. "He's experienced some back problems. He's been pitching with it. It was decided, Randy included obviously in the decision, to shut him down. He's still going to work toward that the playoff start."

The injury likely means that Chien-Ming Wang will start the Yankees' AL Divisional Series opener. Mussina could get the call for Game 2, with Johnson possibly going in Game 3.

The Yankees' night had been great before the news about Johnson. Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui hit three-run homers in a wild six-run first inning to start the offensive onslaught that included a season-high 20 hits.

Abreu and Matsui homered off Jae Seo (1-7) during the 26-minute half inning that also saw Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Mike Butcher ejected.

Jaret Wright (11-7), bidding to be the Yankees' fourth starter in the postseason, gave up one run, five hits, four walks and struck out four in six innings. He is 7-1 all-time against Tampa Bay.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who pitched for the first time Friday since being sidelined since Aug. 31 with a strained right forearm, allowed an infield hit and had a strikeout in a scoreless seventh.

"He looked smooth," Torre said of Rivera. "He was good. He just needs a little more work."

New York had lost three of four since clinching its ninth consecutive AL East title on Wednesday. The Yankees (94-62) are tied with the Detroit Tigers for the best record in the AL.

"We just seemed to have more life tonight," Torre said.

Abreu went 4-for-4, including a run-scoring single in the second. He had a career-high seven RBI when the Yankees beat Tampa Bay 12-4 on Sept. 12.

Matsui went 3-for-4 and had four RBI. Miguel Cairo drove in three runs with a double with the bases loaded in the ninth.

Seo, 0-2 over his last nine starts, threw 46 pitches in the first. He allowed eight runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.

"I had problems with my location," Seo said. "What I think is a strike, the umpire thinks it's a ball. After that I lost my concentration."

Butcher was thrown out by plate umpire Alfonso Marquez for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. After being ejected, Butcher ran toward home plate to continue arguing. He appeared to make contact with third base umpire Larry Young, who tried to get between the coach and Marquez.

"Probably, during the course of the argument," Young said with a shrug when asked about the contact. "We're going to make a report to the (commissioner's) office."

"I didn't grab anybody," Butcher said. "We'll see what happens."

Maddon left the dugout to argue and was thrown out by Marquez. Butcher, who had returned to the dugout, went back on the field and had to be restrained by bullpen coach Bobby Ramos.

"I was seeking an explanation and it got a little out of control," Maddon said. "It was just one of those moments."

Robinson Cano had an RBI-single in a two-run second to make it 8-0. Johnny Damon hit his 23rd homer in the third off Brian Meadows to give the Yankees' a nine-run lead.

New York went up 12-0 in the sixth when Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI-double, Gary Sheffield had a run-scoring infield single and Matsui drove in a run with a single.

Ty Wigginton homered in the sixth for Tampa Bay, his team-leading 24th.

New York's Andy Cannizaro hit his first major league homer in the eighth.


  • Rodriguez stopped an 0-for-13 slide with a fourth-inning single.
  • New York 1B Jason Giambi (left wrist) remains scheduled to hit off a tee Tuesday. He might play Wednesday.
  • Mussina, hit on the base of the left thumb by a line drive Sunday, reported no problems.
  • Matsui is scheduled to play in the field Tuesday. He has been the DH 12 times since returning from a left wrist injury.
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Bobby Abreu rounds third after blasting a three-run home run in the first inning against the Rays.  (AP)
Bobby Abreu rounds third after blasting a three-run home run in the first inning against the Rays. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Abreu
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 1
New York

H. Matsui
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF3211001 .291
    Aaron Guiel, LF2110000 .248
Derek Jeter, SS4320100 .340
    Nick Green, 3B1000012 .184
Bobby Abreu, RF4344000 .300
    Kevin Thompson, RF2000002 .296
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3121100 .284
    Andy Cannizaro, PR-3B^SS1311100 .400
Gary Sheffield, 1B4011003 .296
    Miguel Cairo, 1B-2B1013100 .237
Robinson Cano, 2B4121013 .342
   a- Craig Wilson, PH-1B2000012 .255
Hideki Matsui, DH4134001 .297
   b- Andy Phillips, PH-DH1010000 .243
Jorge Posada, C4010003 .275
    Sal Fasano, C1000002 .219
Melky Cabrera, LF-CF4100101 .280
a-popped out for Cano in the 8th
b-singled for Matsui in the 8th
2B - Derek Jeter (37, Seo), Alex Rodriguez (24, Salas), Miguel Cairo (11, McClung)
HR - Johnny Damon (23, Meadows), Bobby Abreu (13, Seo), Andy Cannizaro (1, Switzer), Hideki Matsui (8, Seo)
RBI - Johnny Damon (78), Bobby Abreu 4 (103), Alex Rodriguez (117), Andy Cannizaro (1), Gary Sheffield (20), Miguel Cairo 3 (29), Robinson Cano (74), Hideki Matsui 4 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (20), Miguel Cairo 3 (16), Robinson Cano (34), Hideki Matsui (8)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Sheffield
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright (W,11-7) 6511441 4.39
Mariano Rivera 1100010 1.85
Brian Bruney 1000000 0.50
Kyle Farnsworth 1200110 4.22
HBP - Young (by Jaret Wright)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 86-49, Mariano Rivera 16-12, Brian Bruney 15-10, Kyle Farnsworth 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 7-6, Mariano Rivera 2-0, Brian Bruney 1-2
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 27, Mariano Rivera 4, Brian Bruney 3, Kyle Farnsworth 6
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli, CF5020002 .308
Delmon Young, RF4020000 .333
Carl Crawford, LF3000102 .303
    Damon Hollins, LF0000100 .225
Greg Norton, 1B5000027 .285
Ty Wigginton, 2B4121012 .276
Kevin Witt, DH4020011 .170
Dioner Navarro, C3000102 .254
B.J. Upton, 3B3000111 .237
Ben Zobrist, SS3000113 .230
2B - Delmon Young (9, Wright), Kevin Witt (2, Wright)
HR - Ty Wigginton (24, Wright)
RBI - Ty Wigginton (74)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Upton-Wigginton-Norton, Wigginton-Zobrist-Norton
PB - Dioner Navarro (6)
E - Ben Zobrist (8, )
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Jae Seo (L,3-11) 1.2788202 5.27
Brian Meadows 3.1411001 5.27
Juan Salas 1533010 6.00
Jon Switzer 2211101 4.28
Seth McClung 1233220 6.31
HBP - Damon (by Jae Seo)
Pitches-Strikes - Jae Seo 62-40, Brian Meadows 39-23, Juan Salas 29-20, Jon Switzer 33-21, Seth McClung 35-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jae Seo 1-4, Brian Meadows 2-6, Juan Salas 2-0, Jon Switzer 2-4
Batters Faced - Jae Seo 15, Brian Meadows 12, Juan Salas 8, Jon Switzer 9, Seth McClung 7
Game Information
Attendance - 24053
Game Time - 3:17
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Larry Young