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N.Y. Yankees (8-10)0111120028130
Tampa Bay (8-11) «04012030x10150

A-Rod fastest to reach 14 homers, but Yanks fall to Rays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Two more homers by Alex Rodriguez couldn't stop the struggling New York Yankees from stumbling again.

A-Rod tied the major league record for home runs in April, hitting his 13th and 14th of the season in a 10-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday night.

Rocco Baldelli and B.J. Upton offset the Yankees star by combining to drive in seven runs for Tampa Bay.

"This obviously is a tough time for us, but it's a long season. We've got to keep working ourselves out of it," Rodriguez said after the Yankees' fourth consecutive loss on a five-game road trip that ends Tuesday night.

"We need a win in the worst way. Again, I think hard work and grinding through it and supporting your teammates are the most important things."

Baldelli hit a three-run homer off Kei Igawa (1-1) in the second inning. Upton lined a solo shot off the left-field foul pole in the fourth for a 5-3 lead, then added a three-run double off reliever Luis Vizcaino to finish with a career-high four RBI.

"Against this team with their lineup, you've really got to hunker down inning by inning because they're going to keep coming at you," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "They're never out of the game, and it's never comfortable."

The Yankees, swept during a weekend series in Boston, got homers in the second and ninth innings from A-Rod, whose average rose to .400 after going 4-for-5 with three RBI and four runs scored.

The second-inning solo shot off Casey Fossum (2-1) was the 477th of Rodriguez's career and extended his hitting streak to 18 games to start this season and 23 in a row dating to last September. The two-run shot off Al Reyes in the ninth gave him 34 RBI, tied the mark for homers in April set by Albert Pujols in 2006 and broke the AL mark of 13 held by Ken Griffey Jr.

"What he's doing is amazing. I hope he keeps it up," New York's Johnny Damon said. "The whole team is rallying behind him. We can't wait until the next time he comes up."

But the Yankees, who have been beset with injuries, are off to an 8-10 start. Rodriguez said that makes it more difficult to enjoy what's he accomplished in the first three weeks of the season.

"It's easier to say `Wow' when we're winning games," he said. "The key is to not get discouraged. We've got to just keep the same approach, not try to do too much. If we can keep having that approach over the long haul, we'll have more wins than losses."

New York pitchers have given up six runs or more in five straight games and nine of 18 this season. In his fourth start since leaving Japan to sign with the Yankees, allowed seven runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"You know it's going to get better. We're a team. We win together. We lose together," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Everybody is playing their tails off. You go out there and score eight runs, it certainly should be enough. We just haven't been able to make it."

Rodriguez lined a 2-2 pitch into the left-field stands off Fossum, who also yielded a solo homer to Robinson Cano in the fifth. The Devil Rays left-hander allowed six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings and benefited from the Yankees hitting into four double plays.

Derek Jeter singled in the seventh inning, giving him a 14-game hitting streak. He and Hideki Matsui, activated from the disabled list earlier Monday, drove in runs for the Yankees with sacrifice flies.

Josh Phelps drew a bases-loaded walk and Jason Giambi added an RBI single as New York pulled within 7-6 in the sixth. But the Yankees bullpen couldn't keep the Devil Rays from pulling away again.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases in the seventh on a double and two walks. Upton doubled down the left-field line and all three runners scored easily.

The Yankees had one more chance, loading the bases with one out in the eighth. Devil Rays reliever Brian Stokes escaped by getting pinch-hitter Damon to foul to third and striking out Melky Cabrera.

"Our team should not lose four games in a row," Damon said. "It happens, but we're supposed to be better than this."

Notes

  • Phil Hughes, the Yankees' top minor league pitching prospect, will make his major league debut Thursday against Toronto. The 20-year-old right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Scranton.
  • To make room on the roster for Matsui, out since April 7 with a strained left hamstring, the Yankees optioned LHP Chase Wright to Double-A Trenton. Wright made his second big league start Sunday night and became the second major league pitcher to allow homers to four consecutive batters.
  • Fossum has pitched in more games (19) against the Yankees than any other team. He's 5-4 in 10 career starts against them.
  • NFL quarterbacks Chris Simms and Brian Griese threw out the ceremonial first pitches.
 
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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A-Rod is putting up video game-type stats: 14 homers, 34 RBI and a .400 batting average.  (AP)
A-Rod is putting up video game-type stats: 14 homers, 34 RBI and a .400 batting average. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

B. Upton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 5
R 4
H 4
HR 2
RBI 3
 
New York Yankees
Melky Cabrera, CF4010026 .200
    Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B0000000 .167
Derek Jeter, SS4011011 .316
Bobby Abreu, RF4210101 .306
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5443010 .400
Jason Giambi, DH4031110 .310
Hideki Matsui, LF2001201 .214
Jorge Posada, C4000017 .333
Robinson Cano, 2B3121001 .324
Josh Phelps, 1B2111100 .300
   a- Johnny Damon, PH-CF1000003 .250
Totals33813856  
a-fouled out for Phelps in the 8th
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (2, Fossum), Jason Giambi (4, Fossum), Josh Phelps (1, Fossum)
HR - Alex Rodriguez 2 (14, Fossum, Reyes), Robinson Cano (1, Fossum)
SF - Derek Jeter (1), Hideki Matsui (1)
SH - Melky Cabrera (2)
RBI - Derek Jeter (6), Alex Rodriguez 3 (34), Jason Giambi (17), Hideki Matsui (4), Robinson Cano (8), Josh Phelps (3)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Phelps (2)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Phelps
New York Yankees
Kei Igawa (L,1-1) 4.1877332 7.84
Colter Bean 1200010 0.00
Mike Myers 0.1000000 1.13
Brian Bruney 0.1233200 3.38
Luis Vizcaino 1200100 5.40
Mariano Rivera 1100020 7.11
IBB - Crawford by Luis Vizcaino
Pitches-Strikes - Kei Igawa 97-62, Colter Bean 19-11, Mike Myers 2-1, Brian Bruney 15-7, Luis Vizcaino 19-9, Mariano Rivera 10-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kei Igawa 2-8, Colter Bean 2-0, Brian Bruney 1-0, Luis Vizcaino 1-1, Mariano Rivera 1-0
Batters Faced - Kei Igawa 24, Colter Bean 5, Mike Myers 1, Brian Bruney 5, Luis Vizcaino 5, Mariano Rivera 4
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli, DH5133000 .274
Brendan Harris, SS4020103 .364
Carl Crawford, LF4000114 .247
Ty Wigginton, 1B5010002 .289
Delmon Young, RF5110022 .282
Akinori Iwamura, 3B3321210 .339
Elijah Dukes, CF4220122 .217
Josh Paul, C4222101 .381
B.J. Upton, 2B4124003 .352
Totals3810151066  
Batting
2B - Rocco Baldelli (4, Igawa), Akinori Iwamura (3, Igawa), Elijah Dukes (3, Bruney), B.J. Upton (4, Vizcaino)
HR - Rocco Baldelli (3, Igawa), B.J. Upton (3, Igawa)
RBI - Rocco Baldelli 3 (9), Akinori Iwamura (5), Josh Paul 2 (5), B.J. Upton 4 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Rocco Baldelli 3 (5), Josh Paul (3)
SB - Rocco Baldelli (4, 2nd base off Vizcaino/Posada), Brendan Harris (1, 2nd base off Igawa/Posada)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Upton-Harris-Wigginton, Harris-Upton-Wigginton, Iwamura-Upton-Wigginton, Wigginton-Harris
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Casey Fossum (W,2-1) 5.21066122 6.94
Gary Glover (H,1) 0.1000100 4.82
Shawn Camp (H,2) 1100010 6.00
Juan Salas0000200 4.66
Brian Stokes (H,4) 1100010 7.84
Al Reyes 1122121 2.00
HBP - Cano (by Casey Fossum)
Pitches-Strikes - Casey Fossum 74-45, Gary Glover 9-5, Shawn Camp 12-6, Juan Salas 11-3, Brian Stokes 14-10, Al Reyes 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Fossum 7-5, Gary Glover 1-0, Shawn Camp 1-0
Batters Faced - Casey Fossum 26, Gary Glover 2, Shawn Camp 3, Juan Salas 2, Brian Stokes 4, Al Reyes 5
Game Information
Attendance - 20409
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Charlie Reliford