Tampa Bay at New York

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (29-11) «10140004010152
N.Y. Yankees (25-15)0001010046121

Rays hold off Yankees, own best record after 40 games since 2002

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- On the road at Yankee Stadium, a rookie pitcher with the ball.

No matter where they go or who they face these days, the dynamic Tampa Bay Rays keep rolling right along.

Jason Bartlett hit his latest leadoff homer in New York to begin an early beating of the banged-up Yankees, and the streaking Rays held on for a 10-6 victory Wednesday night in the opener of a two-game series between baseball's top two teams.

All-time HR leaders
PlayerTotal
1. Barry Bonds762
2. Hank Aaron755
3. Babe Ruth714
4. Willie Mays660
5. Ken Griffey Jr.630
6. Sammy Sosa609
7. Alex Rodriguez-y595
8. Frank Robinson586
9. Mark McGwire583
10. Harmon Killebrew573
11. Jim Thome-y572
y-active

"That's just how we want to play, regardless of who we're playing," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's more of a liberal arts form of playing baseball."

It was a dreadful day all around for the Yankees, who learned star catcher Jorge Posada has a broken bone in his right foot. The team said he'll be sidelined for three to four weeks, but Posada insisted it won't take that long to return.

"I was hoping that it was just a bone bruise, but I woke up this morning and I was still limping," said Posada, who had an MRI exam Wednesday. "At least it's not broken the whole way. I've never had a problem with my feet before."

Already missing three other injured regulars, the Yankees lost reserve outfielder Marcus Thames when he stepped on his own rolling bat and sprained his left ankle on a sixth-inning single. He is day to day.

"I've never seen anyone step on a bat before," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "It's an ankle he has taped anyway, and he has rolled before."

Down to two healthy outfielders, the Yankees likely will make roster moves Thursday.

Evan Longoria had three hits and two RBI, sending the AL East leaders to their fifth straight win. Tampa Bay stole six bases against starting pitcher A.J. Burnett -- four in a four-run fourth inning -- and improved to 29-11, the best record for a big league team after 40 games since Boston had the same mark in 2002.

"This is usually a hard place to play," Carl Crawford said. "It gives us a little confidence going into tomorrow."

Trailing 10-2 going into the ninth, New York scored four times with two outs against Andy Sonnanstine. Joaquin Benoit struck out Juan Miranda with two on for his first save since May 3, 2008, with Texas at Oakland.

Handed a six-run cushion by the fourth, rookie Wade Davis (4-3) held the Yankees in check. Alex Rodriguez hit his 589th home run and Robinson Cano had four hits for New York (25-15), which has dropped seven of 11 since a six-game winning streak.

Faster and fresher than the defending World Series champs, Tampa Bay scampered all over the bases and tagged the hard-throwing Burnett (4-2) for nine hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.

"We didn't win it with the long ball today -- we really played good baseball," Davis said.

Ben Zobrist even scored from second base when Brett Gardner made a spectacular diving catch at the center-field fence of Carlos Pena's eighth-inning sacrifice fly, extending the lead to 10-2.

"They like to run, they like to put pressure on the defense. They pitch well. We know what they're capable of," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said.

John Jaso also had three hits for the Rays, who moved to an astounding 16-4 on the road while handing New York its fifth loss in 18 home games this year. Tampa Bay had dropped 11 of 15 against New York, and seven straight at Yankee Stadium since June 7 last year.

"You've got to play well in playoff teams' venues. This is a first step," Maddon said. "I just want us to teach ourselves a lesson, and that's that we can play well in this ballpark. I know that they're banged up a little bit right now and I understand that, but you nevertheless saw the kind of pressure they can put at you at the end of a game. Regardless of who's in the lineup, they have a lot of good players."

Bartlett drove Burnett's second pitch to left for his third career leadoff homer -- all in the last two seasons at the new Yankee Stadium. One of those leadoff shots was his previous big league home run, on Sept. 9 off Joba Chamberlain.

Bartlett's last 21 homers have been solo shots, the second-longest such streak in major league history. Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson, currently on the disabled list, hit 23 in a row from 2007-08 with Detroit.

"He's dangerous with the bases empty," Maddon said, "especially in this ballpark."

Two walks, a sacrifice bunt and a hit batter led to Longoria's sacrifice fly in the third.

B.J. Upton and Hank Blalock singled in the fourth, then pulled off a double steal. Jaso hit a two-run double, Crawford's RBI double with two outs thumped off the padded right-field fence and Longoria singled home another run to make it 6-0.

Notes

  • Tampa Bay matched a season high with 15 hits.
  • Longoria has 23 RBI in his past 20 games.
  • Burnett dropped to 12-5 against Tampa Bay.
 
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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Reliever Joaquin Benoit (right) gets his first save since 2008 when he was with the Rangers. (AP)
Reliever Joaquin Benoit (right) gets his first save since 2008 when he was with the Rangers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Jaso
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS4222102 .248
Carl Crawford, LF4111001 .311
Ben Zobrist, RF3121210 .281
Evan Longoria, 3B4032001 .329
Carlos Pena, 1B4001016 .185
B.J. Upton, CF5120001 .224
Hank Blalock, DH3110010 .273
   a- Gabe Kapler, PH-DH2000013 .224
John Jaso, C4232100 .333
Reid Brignac, 2B2100112 .270
   b- Sean Rodriguez, PH-2B2111011 .226
Totals3710151056  
a-flied out for Blalock in the 7th
b-doubled for Brignac in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carl Crawford (13, Burnett), B.J. Upton (11, Melancon), John Jaso (4, Burnett), Sean Rodriguez (5, Logan)
HR - Jason Bartlett (1, Burnett)
SF - Evan Longoria (3), Carlos Pena (2)
SH - Jason Bartlett (3)
RBI - Jason Bartlett 2 (22), Carl Crawford (18), Ben Zobrist (17), Evan Longoria 2 (37), Carlos Pena (24), John Jaso 2 (14), Sean Rodriguez (10)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (7), Evan Longoria (14)
SB - Ben Zobrist (8, 2nd base off Burnett/Cervelli), Evan Longoria 2 (7, 2nd base off Burnett/Cervelli, 2nd base off Burnett/Cervelli), B.J. Upton 2 (13, 2nd base off Burnett/Cervelli, 3rd base off Burnett/Cervelli), Hank Blalock (1, 2nd base off Burnett/Cervelli)
PK - Jason Bartlett (1, Burnett)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Brignac-Pena
E - Reid Brignac (4, Throwing), B.J. Upton (2, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
Wade Davis (W,4-3) 5.2722371 3.35
Lance Cormier 2.1100120 3.18
Andy Sonnanstine 0.2444200 4.24
Joaquin Benoit (S,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Wade Davis 108-67, Lance Cormier 38-22, Andy Sonnanstine 27-14, Joaquin Benoit 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Davis 3-5, Lance Cormier 4-2, Andy Sonnanstine 2-0
Batters Faced - Wade Davis 25, Lance Cormier 10, Andy Sonnanstine 8, Joaquin Benoit 1
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS5010023 .266
Brett Gardner, CF4120100 .326
Mark Teixeira, DH4100122 .213
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4321120 .295
Robinson Cano, 2B5141000 .340
Francisco Cervelli, C3012102 .373
Marcus Thames, RF2010111 .357
    Ramiro Pena, PR-RF2012001 .211
Juan Miranda, 1B4000126 .176
Randy Winn, LF4000010 .182
Totals376126610  
Batting
2B - Robinson Cano (11, Cormier), Francisco Cervelli (4, Davis)
HR - Alex Rodriguez (6, Davis)
SF - Francisco Cervelli (1)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez (32), Robinson Cano (28), Francisco Cervelli 2 (17), Ramiro Pena 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Robinson Cano (9), Francisco Cervelli (10), Ramiro Pena 2 (4)
CS - Brett Gardner (2, 2nd base by Davis/Jaso)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Miranda
E - Francisco Cervelli (1, Throwing)
New York Yankees
A.J. Burnett (L,4-2) 6.2966441 3.86
Boone Logan 0.1122100 5.59
Mark Melancon 2522020 9.00
HBP - Crawford (by A.J. Burnett)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 116-67, Boone Logan 11-5, Mark Melancon 37-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 8-7, Mark Melancon 1-2
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 33, Boone Logan 3, Mark Melancon 10
Game Information
Attendance - 43283
Game Time - 3:45
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Angel Campos