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New York at Tampa Bay

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N.Y. Yankees (90-67)10400001006120
Tampa Bay (65-92) «0000060001751

Rays delay Yankees' playoff berth with 10th-inning homer

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Nothing comes easy for the New York Yankees this season, especially against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Jorge Velandia hit a grand slam for his first career homer and Dioner Navarro added a solo shot in the 10th inning to lift last-place Tampa Bay over New York 7-6 and prevent the Yankees from clinching a playoff berth on Tuesday night.

"I can't really remember us having an easy time," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "Regardless of who you're playing, no one likes to see you celebrate. They're going to play you tough."

Coupled with Boston's 7-3 victory over Oakland, New York fell three games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East with five games to play. The Yankees lead Detroit by 4½ games in the wild-card race, and their magic number to clinch a playoff berth for the 13th consecutive year remained at one.

The Yankees trailed Boston by 14½ games on May 29 and have salvaged their season by going a major league-best 47-24 since the All-Star break. But they're just 8-8 this year against the pesky Devil Rays, who have baseball's worst record.

Velandia's grand slam off Brian Bruney finished a six-run sixth and offset an Alex Rodriguez slam that gave New York a 5-0 lead in the third. Navarro, who had a RBI double in the sixth, hit the winner on a 2-0 pitch from Jeff Karstens (1-4).

"It's not easy, but we're going to get the job done before too long," said the Yankees' Johnny Damon, who was 5-for-5 and scored two runs. "We're going to get back to the postseason, and we're going to be going on all cylinders."

A-Rod's homer was his major league-leading 53rd, a shot that ended his longest homerless drought in more than a year. He has 151 RBI, the most by a Yankee since Joe DiMaggio's 155 in 1948.

Gary Glover (6-5) pitched one scoreless inning for the victory. Eight Yankees pitchers yielded a total of five hits, but hurt themselves with 11 walks.

A-Rod, who had gone 55 at bats since last homering on Sept. 9 a Kansas City, circled the bases to a standing ovation after driving an 0-1 pitch from Jason Hammel off one of the catwalks that support the roof at Tropicana Field in the third inning.

The stretch without a homer was A-Rod's longest since he also went 55 at bats without one from May 27-June 15 last year.

The ball was still rising when it hit the ring about 115 feet above the field. The Devil Rays estimated the grand slam -- the 16th of Rodriguez's career and third this year -- traveled 428 feet.

Trailing 5-0, the Devil Rays rallied to take a 6-5 lead in the sixth.

Navarro doubled off Edwar Ramirez to drive in Tampa Bay's first run, and Bruney walked Akinori Iwamura with the bases loaded before giving up the first homer the 32-year-old Velandia had in 208 major league at bats spread out over six seasons.

"It's a helpless feeling, there's no question," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of the six walks issued by his bullpen. "You don't give yourself a chance to get guys out. You look up there and they have four hits and we've got double digits, and we've got the same number of runs. That's when you know you're in the charity business.

New York tied in the eighth on Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly off Dan Wheeler, but the Yankees wasted an opportunity to regain the lead when Jeter struck out with runners at the corners after Damon singled.

"We've stood toe-to-toe to all the contenders: Boston, to Seattle, to L.A., then Boston and New York here, and I like the way our guys have gone about their business against them," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's not about being the spoiler, it's about learning how to play this time of the year. And our guys have risen to occasion."

Kei Igawa, standing in for scheduled starter Roger Clemens, pitched five scoreless innings before New York's bullpen let the Devil Rays back in the game.

Clemens was scratched because of a lingering left hamstring injury. He tweaked the hamstring while running last Thursday and has pitched just once since Sept. 3, sidelined initially by a tender right elbow that required two cortisone shots.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the 45-year-old, seven-time Cy Young Award winner could have pitched Tuesday if it had been a must-win game.

"We're just playing it smart," Cashman said. "We're looking at the big picture, and giving it more time to heal. The point is he'll be better off with more time, and we'll go from there."

Igawa made his first start since pitching poorly in a loss at Kansas City on July 26. He worked out of a jam in the first after walking two and allowing the runners to move up on a wild pitch, then clung to New York's 5-0 lead when he got Delmon Young to fly to center with the bases loaded in the third.

Notes

  • Rodriguez has scored 139 runs this season, most by a Yankee since Rickey Henderson scored 146 in 1985. With the bases loaded, he's 7-for-14 with three homers and 25 RBI.
  • Jeter's RBI double in the first extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
  • Devil Rays LF Carl Crawford will not play again this season because of a left groin strain that's already sidelined him for seven games.
  • Although Clemens won't pitch the remainder of the regular season, Torre said he could throw in a simulated game before next week.
 
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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The Yanks blow the game vs. Tampa Bay, but not because of Johnny Damon, who finishes 5-for-5.  (AP)
The Yanks blow the game vs. Tampa Bay, but not because of Johnny Damon, who finishes 5-for-5. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Velandia
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
New York

J. Damon
AB 5
R 2
H 5
HR 0
RBI 0
 
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF5250000 .264
Derek Jeter, SS5121013 .319
Bobby Abreu, RF3100202 .283
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4114102 .311
Hideki Matsui, DH3000222 .287
Jorge Posada, C4010001 .334
    Bronson Sardinha, PR0100000 .000
    Wilson Betemit, 1B1000011 .226
Robinson Cano, 2B5030010 .304
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B2000121 .257
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1000012 .236
    Jose Molina, C1000000 .251
Melky Cabrera, CF4001011 .277
Totals38612669  
a-struck out for Mientkiewicz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (37, Hammel), Jorge Posada (42, Wheeler)
HR - Alex Rodriguez (53, Hammel)
SF - Melky Cabrera (9)
RBI - Derek Jeter (69), Alex Rodriguez 4 (151), Melky Cabrera (71)
SB - Johnny Damon 2 (26, 2nd base off Hammel/Navarro, 2nd base off Hammel/Navarro)
CS - Robinson Cano (5, 2nd base by Balfour/Navarro)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Cano-Mientkiewicz
New York Yankees
Kei Igawa 5200520 6.25
Edwar Ramirez 0.1133200 8.38
Brian Bruney (BS,2) 0.1133211 4.68
Ron Villone 1000100 4.24
Chris Britton 0.1000010 3.86
Kyle Farnsworth 1000020 4.81
Jose Veras 1000110 7.36
Jeff Karstens (L,1-4)0111001 11.05
WP - Kei Igawa (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Kei Igawa 87-46, Edwar Ramirez 21-11, Brian Bruney 15-7, Ron Villone 16-10, Chris Britton 4-3, Kyle Farnsworth 13-10, Jose Veras 18-10, Jeff Karstens 3-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kei Igawa 2-10, Ron Villone 3-0
Batters Faced - Kei Igawa 21, Edwar Ramirez 4, Brian Bruney 4, Ron Villone 4, Chris Britton 1, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Jose Veras 4, Jeff Karstens 1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B4111110 .282
Jorge Velandia, 2B4114101 .400
Carlos Pena, 1B3010200 .277
B.J. Upton, CF2100323 .302
Delmon Young, RF5000018 .292
Dioner Navarro, C5222001 .228
Jonny Gomes, LF1100311 .247
Joel Guzman, DH2000002 .304
   a- Greg Norton, PH-DH1100110 .237
Josh Wilson, SS4000014 .235
Totals31757117  
a-walked for Guzman in the 6th
Batting
2B - Dioner Navarro (18, Ramirez)
HR - Jorge Velandia (1, Bruney), Dioner Navarro (9, Karstens)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura (31), Jorge Velandia 4 (8), Dioner Navarro 2 (44)
2-OUT RBI - Akinori Iwamura (12), Jorge Velandia 4 (8)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Pena-Wilson-Hammel, Velandia-Wilson-Pena
E - Dioner Navarro (13, Missed catch of throw)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Jason Hammel 5755341 6.08
Grant Balfour 1100100 7.99
Jon Switzer (H,2) 1100110 7.27
Dan Wheeler (BS,7) 1311020 5.45
Al Reyes 1000110 4.98
Gary Glover (W,6-5) 1000010 5.04
IBB - Rodriguez by Jon Switzer
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 101-54, Grant Balfour 18-11, Jon Switzer 26-14, Dan Wheeler 19-13, Al Reyes 25-14, Gary Glover 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 3-7, Grant Balfour 1-0, Jon Switzer 1-1, Gary Glover 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 24, Grant Balfour 3, Jon Switzer 5, Dan Wheeler 6, Al Reyes 4, Gary Glover 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24503
Game Time - 4:06
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Mike DiMuro