New York at Tampa Bay

Scoreboard
N.Y. Yankees (11-8) «000100012490
Tampa Bay (9-11)100000101370

Yankees top Rays in ninth, keep Price winless

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Struggling Ichiro Suzuki came up big for the New York Yankees.

Suzuki hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning and the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Tuesday night.

More on Yankees-Rays
Related links
Video
More MLB coverage

"I haven't been able to do much, but hopefully things like this will help me get past it," Suzuki, who is hitting just .220 this season, said through a translator.

Robinson Cano ended AL Cy Young Award winner David Price's night with a leadoff single in the ninth. After Cano stole second on a pitch by Fernando Rodney that struck out Vernon Wells, pinch-hitter Travis Hafner was intentionally walked and Lyle Overbay walked to load the bases.

First baseman James Loney helped Rodney by making a sliding catch on Chris Stewart's foul ball, but Suzuki then drove in two for a 4-2 lead on a liner to center.

"We put some tough at-bats on some really tough pitchers," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Tampa Bay is winless in all five of Price's starts this year. The left-hander (0-2) allowed three runs and eight hits over eight-plus innings.

"I thought he threw the ball really well tonight, so if he throws the ball like that and we had scored four runs tonight, he walks away and feels like he was fantastic," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "But we don't score enough runs and he doesn't feel as good about himself. That's just how this baseball thing works."

The only other team to lose the first five starts made by a reigning Cy Young winner was the 1989 Minnesota Twins. They lost in Frank Viola's first seven starts before finally winning on May 9 that year.

A frustrated Price spent just about one minute talking with reporters after the game, saying that there is no satisfaction from what was called a better start and that he wanted to remain in the game.

"We're still 0-5 when I pitch, I don't feel good," Price said. "I want to be in that game. It's like it's my game to lose."

David Robertson (1-0) worked a perfect eighth before Mariano Rivera got his sixth save despite allowing Evan Longoria's leadoff homer.

Suzuki singled with one out in the eighth, went to third on Jayson Nix's single to left, and scored to get the Yankees even at 2 when Brett Gardner hit a grounder to second.

"I just had a feeling I could make it there," Suzuki said. "It was a steal and I was just running. I didn't see where he hit the ball but I heard it, and luckily when I looked up I saw the ball in front of me."

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the seventh on Jose Molina's run-scoring single off Phil Hughes, who allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings.

"I felt like I had to pitch well," Hughes said. "Price wasn't going to continue the way he'd been throwing. I knew he was going to be tough, and I though the game was over in the seventh after making that bad pitch [to Molina]. But thankfully the guys fought back hard and got us the win."

Ben Zobrist put the Rays up 1-0 on a first-inning sacrifice fly.

The Yankees tied it at 1 on Wells' RBI single in the fourth, but Price avoided further damage by getting a fly ball from Ben Francisco and Overbay's double-play grounder with runners on first and second with no outs.

Maddon's effort during the current homestand to keep his team loose Tuesday featured a cockatoo, which he had in clubhouse and later on his shoulder as he held his pregame media session. In previous games, Maddon had a DJ play music in the clubhouse and a magician do card tricks, and promised a big animal finale on Wednesday night when the homestand ends.

"Snakes are out," Maddon said. "I will not be in the clubhouse with a snake. Regardless of what people say, I'm not on board with that."

Yankees infielder Kevin Youkilis was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game with lower back tightness. Girardi expects Youkilis will also miss Wednesday's series finale.

Notes

  • Price has given up six leads over his past three starts.
  • New York SS Derek Jeter will be in a walking boot for a left ankle injury when rejoins the team Thursday at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees captain found out last Thursday that he fractured the ankle for a second time in six months.
  • Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira (wrist) continues taking dry swings with a bat, but hasn't started hitting off a tee.
  • Rivera met with a group of wounded soldiers and veterans before the game. The closer, who is retiring after the season, is taking part in events like that in road ballparks this year.
  • Longoria has reached base in 34 consecutive games dating to last season.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Ichiro Suzuki hits a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning to put the Yankees past the Rays. (Getty Images)
Ichiro Suzuki hits a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning to put the Yankees past the Rays. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

I. Suzuki
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

D. Price
IP 8.0
H 8
ER 3
BB 0
K 5
 

Related Video

December 17, 2014
Packers at Buccaneers Preview (2:48)
December 17, 2014
Fantasy Update: Doug Martin
(0:42)
December 16, 2014
Fantasy Update: Josh McCown
(0:38)
December 21, 2014
Rivers on overtime victory over 49ers
(0:48)
New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brett Gardner, CF4001021 .250
Eduardo Nunez, SS4110011 .174
Robinson Cano, 2B4120011 .342
Vernon Wells, LF4011011 .296
Ben Francisco, DH3000002 .080
   a- Travis Hafner, PH-DH0100100 .319
Lyle Overbay, 1B3000101 .246
Chris Stewart, C4010003 .333
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4122001 .220
Jayson Nix, 3B4020023 .225
Totals3449427  
a-was walked intentionally for Francisco in the 9th
Batting
RBI - Brett Gardner (11), Vernon Wells (9), Ichiro Suzuki 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Ichiro Suzuki 2 (3)
SB - Eduardo Nunez (2, 2nd base off Price/Molina), Robinson Cano (1, 2nd base off Rodney/Molina)
CS - Ichiro Suzuki (1, 2nd base by Price/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ichiro Suzuki 1
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Phil Hughes 7622260 5.14
David Robertson (W,1-0) 1000020 2.70
Mariano Rivera (S,6) 1111001 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 108-78, David Robertson 12-8, Mariano Rivera 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 3-10, Mariano Rivera 1-2
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 27, David Robertson 3, Mariano Rivera 4
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF3110111 .234
Ryan Roberts, 2B4010001 .302
Ben Zobrist, RF3001021 .254
Evan Longoria, 3B4111011 .282
Matt Joyce, LF3100111 .192
Yunel Escobar, SS4000001 .157
James Loney, 1B4020000 .313
Jose Molina, C3011021 .256
Kelly Johnson, DH3010012 .191
Totals3137328  
Batting
2B - Ryan Roberts (2, Hughes)
HR - Evan Longoria (5, M. Rivera)
SF - Ben Zobrist (2)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (13), Evan Longoria (10), Jose Molina (3)
CS - Desmond Jennings (2, 2nd base by Hughes/Stewart)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Loney, Roberts-Escobar-Loney, Molina-Roberts
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price (L,0-2) 8833050 5.52
Fernando Rodney 1111220 5.40
IBB - Hafner by Fernando Rodney
WP - David Price (1)
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 99-71, Fernando Rodney 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 7-10
Batters Faced - David Price 30, Fernando Rodney 6
Game Information
Attendance - 17644
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Andy Fletcher