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Rays pound Yanks, raise banners from World Series run

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- On a night they raised the first championship banners in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Rays also exhibited why they feel capable of getting back to the postseason.

Carlos Pena hit a grand slam and drove in six runs Monday night, helping Scott Kazmir beat Chien-Ming Wang and the New York Yankees 15-5 in the home opener for the AL champions.

"We showed everything," Carl Crawford said after the young, confident Rays homered three times, amassed 17 hits, stole six bases, made some nice defensive plays and impressed manager Joe Maddon with how well they maintain focus on an emotional night.

It got so bad for the Yankees that first baseman Nick Swisher pitched a scoreless eighth inning, the first New York position player to take the mound since Wade Boggs used his knuckleball in 1997.

"It's one of those days," captain Derek Jeter said. "It was their day, an opportunity to celebrate what they did last season, and they had their way."

The Rays toasted last year's improbable worst-to-first turnaround by hanging two large blue and white division and league championship banners above the left-field stands during a festive pregame ceremony at sold-out Tropicana Field.

They spent the rest of the night pleasing the crowd of 36,973 by beating up on a division rival that shelled out more than $400 million in offseason acquisitions with hopes of regaining supremacy in the AL East.

Kazmir (2-0) allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, including Swisher's solo homer in the fourth and Melky Cabrera's RBI single in the fifth. The left-hander struck out six and walked none.

"Whatever could go wrong tonight went wrong," Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "It started with starting pitcher. Chien-Ming never got it going. We know he's much better than he's pitched so far."

Earlier in the day, New York's Alex Rodriguez resumed drills on a baseball field five weeks after hip surgery and said following the workout in Tampa that he eventually hopes to return as "good as new."

The Yankees could use some help with Jeter -- 1-for-his-last-20 -- struggling and Cody Ransom going 2-for-24 with two RBI as A-Rod's replacement at third base.

Swisher may have been New York's most effective pitcher. After giving up a walk and Tampa Bay's 17th hit, he struck out Gabe Kapler and got Pena and Pat Burrell to fly out.

"I had fun with it. When am I ever going to have a chance to do that again? Probably never," said Swisher, who hadn't pitched in a game since he was a freshman in high school. "We know we didn't play very well. Got to find something to laugh about in that moment. I just happened to be the guy."

Pena had a two-run double in the first off Wang (0-2), who continued to struggle in his comeback from foot surgery that sidelined him for more than three months last season. The slugger drove in three of the eight runs charged to Wang in one-plus innings with the sixth grand slam of his career off reliever Jonathan Albaladejo in the second.

Burrell and Jason Bartlett also homered for the Rays, who received two more RBI from hot-hitting Evan Longoria.

Longoria, the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year, has hit safely in all seven of Tampa Bay's games and has five homers and 12 RBI.

"We have good young players coming off a very good season. My biggest concern is how we were going to react to success. And to this point, I'm pleased," Maddon said. "Gratitude and humility, I really believe in that. And I think our guys have channeled all the success properly to this point."

In two starts since foot surgery, Wang has allowed 15 runs on 15 hits in 4 2/3 innings. He failed to get through the fourth inning of a loss at Baltimore last week, and his earned run average ballooned from 17.18 to 28.93 after Monday night.

Tampa Bay received a boost from the return of B.J. Upton, who missed the opening week of the season to rehab his surgically repaired left shoulder. He was 1-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases, and the 24-year-old made a crowd-pleasing, over-the-head basket catch of Xavier Nady's drive to the center-field wall in the second inning.

"That was about as good as it gets," Maddon said.

Upton also looked comfortable in his new role as a leadoff hitter, drawing a walk in the first inning before stealing second base and taking third as part of a double steal with Crawford.

Upton and Crawford scored on Pena's double, and Wang also yielded a run-scoring double to Burrell and RBI single to Gabe Gross to fall behind 4-0.

Notes

  • With the Yankees trailing 12-2, Jeter and left fielder Johnny Damon left the game for defensive replacements in the sixth inning.
  • The Rays will receive their AL championship rings Tuesday night.
  • Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game because of tendinitis in his left wrist. Girardi expects him back in the lineup on Tuesday.
 
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 Rays raise their 2008 American League Champions banner with the Yanks in town.  (Getty Images)
The Rays raise their 2008 American League Champions banner with the Yanks in town. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

C. Pena
AB 6
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 6
Tampa Bay

S. Kazmir
IP 6.2
H 6
ER 3
BB 0
K 6
 
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS3000012 .207
    Ramiro Pena, SS00001001.000
Johnny Damon, LF3000010 .227
    Brett Gardner, CF1100001 .227
Nick Swisher, 1B-P3211100 .450
Jorge Posada, C-1B4022020 .350
Xavier Nady, RF4110002 .280
Robinson Cano, 2B4110012 .385
Hideki Matsui, DH3000002 .125
    Jose Molina, C1010000 .429
Cody Ransom, 3B4011012 .083
Melky Cabrera, CF-LF4021001 .250
Totals3459526  
Batting
2B - Jorge Posada (4, Cormier), Xavier Nady (4, Kazmir)
HR - Nick Swisher (3, Kazmir)
RBI - Nick Swisher (10), Jorge Posada 2 (8), Cody Ransom (2), Melky Cabrera (1)
2-OUT RBI - Cody Ransom (2), Melky Cabrera (1)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Johnny Damon 1
E - Robinson Cano (1, Dropped fly)
New York Yankees
Chien-Ming Wang (L,0-2) 1688310 28.93
Jonathan Albaladejo 3533122 4.26
Edwar Ramirez 2411131 2.70
Phil Coke 1130200 9.82
Nick Swisher 1100110 0.00
HBP - Crawford (by Chien-Ming Wang)
Pitches-Strikes - Chien-Ming Wang 61-34, Jonathan Albaladejo 60-34, Edwar Ramirez 51-31, Phil Coke 38-18, Nick Swisher 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chien-Ming Wang 1-0, Jonathan Albaladejo 3-4, Edwar Ramirez 1-2, Phil Coke 1-3
Batters Faced - Chien-Ming Wang 12, Jonathan Albaladejo 15, Edwar Ramirez 11, Phil Coke 7, Nick Swisher 5
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF3210322 .333
Carl Crawford, LF2200112 .286
   a- Willy Aybar, PH-3B2010003 .333
Evan Longoria, 3B3112122 .467
    Gabe Kapler, LF2000012 .100
Carlos Pena, 1B6236014 .276
Pat Burrell, DH5322103 .240
Dioner Navarro, C5120001 .231
Gabe Gross, RF4121101 .200
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4123102 .385
Jason Bartlett, SS4231002 .444
   b- Ben Zobrist, PH-SS1000001 .286
Totals4115171587  
a-lined out for Crawford in the 6th
b-grounded out for Bartlett in the 7th
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena 2 (2, Wang, Albaladejo), Pat Burrell (2, Wang), Akinori Iwamura (4, Coke)
HR - Carlos Pena (3, Albaladejo), Pat Burrell (1, Ramirez), Jason Bartlett (2, Albaladejo)
RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (12), Carlos Pena 6 (9), Pat Burrell 2 (2), Gabe Gross (1), Akinori Iwamura 3 (4), Jason Bartlett (3)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria (3), Akinori Iwamura 3 (4)
SB - B.J. Upton 2 (2, 2nd base off Wang/Posada, 3rd base off Wang/Posada), Carl Crawford (2, 2nd base off Wang/Posada), Jason Bartlett (2, 2nd base off Wang/Posada)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Iwamura-Pena, Iwamura-Zobrist-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Scott Kazmir (W,2-0) 6.2633061 2.84
Lance Cormier 1.1222200 3.38
Brian Shouse 1100000 3.86
WP - Scott Kazmir (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 100-68, Lance Cormier 28-14, Brian Shouse 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 8-5, Lance Cormier 3-1, Brian Shouse 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 25, Lance Cormier 8, Brian Shouse 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36973
Game Time - 3:29
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jerry Layne