New York at Tampa Bay

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N.Y. Yankees (87-57)00000000000040
Tampa Bay (87-56) «00000000001141

Brignac's HR in 11th lifts Rays into first in AL East

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Carl Crawford forced a smile, then giggled.

With their four-time All-Star left fielder unwittingly setting the stage for Reid Brignac's 11th-inning homer, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 1-0 to move into first place in the AL East on Monday night.

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Brignac, a rookie infielder, entered the game in Crawford's spot in the batting order after Crawford was ejected for arguing a called third strike in the ninth.

"I'm glad he got the opportunity," said Crawford, who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. "I don't think I would have done that."

Brignac connected on a 3-2 pitch from Sergio Mitre (0-3), the last of four relievers that followed CC Sabathia, who pitched eight scoreless innings in pursuit of what would have been his major league-leading 20th win.

Grant Balfour (2-1) pitched one inning to get the win for the Rays, who pulled ahead of the defending world champions for the division lead by a half game.

"It's unbelievable. You feel like you're floating on clouds," Brignac said, describing the trip around the bases and celebration at home plate. "I had a couple of walkoffs in the minors, but nothing like this."

The Yankees have lost a season-high four straight and managed just four hits -- three off 17-game winner David Price -- as the teams began a stretch in which they'll meet seven times over 11 days. They relinquished first place for just the second day since moving atop the standing on June 20.

New York was swept by Texas in a three-game series that began a nine-game, 10-day road trip.

"It's tough, especially because we've lost three or four like this," Sabathia said. "It's been a tough road trip. We need to put this behind us. We've been playing tough. We're not getting the breaks."

With first place and baseball's best record on the line, Sabathia and Price were at their best before a crowd of 26,907 -- about 10,000 shy of capacity -- at Tropicana Field. The left-handers are the top two winners in the AL and showed why, with neither allowing a runner past second base.

Sabathia, who walked two and struck out nine over eight innings, limited the Rays to Kelly Shoppach's third-inning single until Sean Rodriguez opened the eighth with a sharp grounder into centerfield for Tampa Bay's second hit.

After hitting Shoppach with a pitch to put runners at first and second with one out, the Yankees ace struck out B.J. Upton and got Jason Bartlett to ground into a force play to send a scoreless game to the ninth.

Price, second in the AL with 17 wins, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four over eight innings. He kept the game even, working out of a jam in the seventh by getting Alex Rodriguez to pop to second and Marcus Thames to fly to center after Robinson Cano singled and Mark Teixeira walked with one out.

"Both of them were tremendous," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who didn't have the entire New York bullpen at his disposal with Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson getting an extra day of rest.

"We've got to bounce back. We've had three tough losses on this road trip, really tough losses," Girardi added. "But this is a team with a lot of character, and we'll bounce back."

It was the second career matchup between Sabathia and Price. They also met last Oct. 2 at Tropicana Field, with Price limiting the Yankees to one run and two hits over seven innings to win 13-4 and deny Sabathia a 20th win in his final start of last season.

Price faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings this time, with Derek Jeter being erased on a double play after a first-inning single and Jorge Posada caught stealing after walking on a 3-1 pitch with two outs in the fifth.

Sabathia was just as impressive, breezing through the first eight batters before Shoppach singled and B.J. Upton walked with two outs in the third. Bartlett lined out to end the inning as Sabathia settled into a groove again and retired 12 in a row before walking Ben Zobrist with two outs in the seventh.

Both teams had a chance to win in the 10th. The Yankees threat ended abruptly when pinch-runner Bret Gardner was caught trying to steal third. The Rays wasted their opportunity when pinch hitter Brad Hawpe struck out to leave the bases loaded against Yankees reliever Chad Gaudin.

"That was a good game," Price said. "It was kind of what everybody was expecting, and that's what they got."

Notes

  • This was the fourth time in the past five seasons that a pair of AL pitchers with at least 17 wins have faced each other. Two of the other three also involved the Yankees and Red Sox with Chien-Ming Wang facing Josh Beckett in 2007 and Mike Mussina going against Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2008. Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Texas' Scott Feldman met in 2009.
 
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Reid Brignac's seventh homer of the season is a dramatic one, lifting the Rays in the 11th.  (AP)
Reid Brignac's seventh homer of the season is a dramatic one, lifting the Rays in the 11th. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

D. Price
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 4
New York

C. Sabathia
IP 8.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 9
 

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New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derek Jeter, SS5010001 .261
Robinson Cano, 2B4010001 .316
Mark Teixeira, 1B3000100 .260
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4000002 .269
Marcus Thames, DH3000002 .301
   a- Lance Berkman, PH-DH0000100 .253
    Brett Gardner, PR-DH0000000 .280
Jorge Posada, C3000111 .256
Austin Kearns, LF4010011 .265
Curtis Granderson, CF3010020 .246
Greg Golson, RF2000000 .231
   b- Nick Swisher, PH1000001 .288
    Colin Curtis, RF1000001 .234
Totals3304034  
a-walked for Thames in the 10th
b-grounded out for Golson in the 8th
Batting
SH - Curtis Granderson (4)
SB - Brett Gardner (41, 2nd base off Benoit/Navarro)
CS - Brett Gardner (8, 3rd base by Benoit/Navarro), Jorge Posada (1, 2nd base by Price/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 4
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
CC Sabathia 8200290 3.03
Kerry Wood 1000020 3.40
Boone Logan 0.1000010 2.29
Chad Gaudin 0.2100220 5.37
Sergio Mitre (L,0-3)0111001 3.65
HBP - Shoppach (by CC Sabathia)
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 119-77, Kerry Wood 11-7, Boone Logan 5-3, Chad Gaudin 31-16, Sergio Mitre 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 9-6
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 29, Kerry Wood 3, Boone Logan 1, Chad Gaudin 5, Sergio Mitre 1
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
B.J. Upton, CF3000212 .236
Jason Bartlett, SS4000004 .248
   a- Brad Hawpe, PH-RF1000013 .250
Carl Crawford, LF4000030 .302
    Reid Brignac, 2B-SS1111000 .263
Evan Longoria, 3B4000020 .294
Ben Zobrist, RF-2B3000100 .250
Carlos Pena, 1B4000031 .200
Sean Rodriguez, 2B-LF3010020 .257
   b- Matt Joyce, PH-LF1000010 .235
Willy Aybar, DH2000010 .232
   c- Dioner Navarro, PH-DH-C0000100 .200
Kelly Shoppach, C2010000 .190
    Desmond Jennings, PR0000000 .273
   d- Dan Johnson, PH1010000 .206
Totals33141414  
a-struck out for Bartlett in the 10th
b-struck out for S. Rodriguez in the 10th
c-hit a sacrifice bunt for Aybar in the 8th
d-singled for Benoit in the 10th
Batting
HR - Reid Brignac (7, Mitre)
SH - Dioner Navarro (5)
RBI - Reid Brignac (40)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - S. Rodriguez-Bartlett-Pena, Bartlett-S. Rodriguez-Pena
E - Sean Rodriguez (6, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price 8300240 2.75
Rafael Soriano 1000000 1.92
Joaquin Benoit 1000100 1.52
Grant Balfour (W,2-1) 1100000 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 113-72, Rafael Soriano 13-6, Joaquin Benoit 10-6, Grant Balfour 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 10-8, Rafael Soriano 1-2, Grant Balfour 1-2
Batters Faced - David Price 27, Rafael Soriano 3, Joaquin Benoit 3, Grant Balfour 4
Game Information
Attendance - 26907
Game Time - 3:29
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Ed Rapuano