Rays Fall To Yankees 3-2 In 11 Innings

In front of a sellout crowd of 34,078 the Tampa Bay Rays were unable to complete the sweep against the New York Yankees dropping the 3-2 in 11 innings. Jamey Wright took the loss for the Rays and the Rays fell to 74-54 on the year.

Cobb_NYY_AUGAfter sitting in the bullpen for the first two games of the series the Yankees finally grabbed a late inning lead and were able to use Mariano Rivera to close out a game.

In the bottom of the 11th with the scored tied 2-2 Alfonso Soriano doubled off Jamey Wright (2-2, 3.04 ERA). The Rays did not pay close enough attention to Soriano as he stole 3rd base.

With Soriano at 3rd and only 1-out Joe Maddon elected to face Curtis Granderson rather than walk him intentionally and face Eduardo Nunez.  Maddon said, “Jamie’s really good on lefties and there’s a good chance to get a ground ball to second right there….there’s a good chance to put the ball on the ground right there and he just got it up in the air.”

Wright was unable to get the groundball he was looking for as Granderson sent a sacrifice fly to center to plate Soriano with the go ahead run.

After taking a 3-2 lead in the top of the 11th on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Curtis Granderson Rivera entered to face the middle of the Rays order Ben Zobrist,  Evan Longoria, and Matt Joyce.

Zobrist sent a hard grounder to second base which Robinson Cano stabbed and made a strong throw to first for the first out. Evan Longoria sent a deep liner to the alley in left but with the outfield playing no doubles defense it was caught for the second out. Matt Joyce was the Rays last hope and he fouled out to left to end the game.  Rivera picked up his 38th save and make a winner out of Boone Logan (4-2, 2.75 ERA).

It was Rivera’s 37th save at Tropicana Field the most by any visiting pitcher in franchise history.  The next closest is Jonathon Papelbon who only has 10 saves at the Trop.

Ivan Nova entered his Sunday afternoon start with a lifetime mark of 6-3 with a 2.91 ERA against the Rays. He continued his mastery of the Rays by tossing 6.2 innings allowing 2R/ER on 6 hits walking 6 and striking 3. He was effectively wild on the day making 102 pitches with only 52 finding the strike zone.

Early on it looked as if the Rays were finally going to break through an inflict damage on Nova. David Dejesus who was inserted in the leadoff spot mainly for his ability to hit right handed pitching and his .340 on-base percentage as a leadoff hitter singled to begin the game. He moved up to second on a Ben Zobrist walk and came around to score on an Evan Longoria single. Wil Myers drew a walk to load the bases for James Loney.

Nova got the ground ball that he was looking for to Mark Reynolds at 3b who threw home to Chris Stewart who fired the ball down to Lyle Overbay to complete the 5-2-3 double play. Nova would find the double play ball to be his friend as he got another in the 3rd inning and a third in the 4th inning.

Alex Cobb making his second start since returning from the disable list and worked 5.2 innings allowing  just 2 runs on 7 hits striking out 5 and walking 3 but departed with runners on 2nd and 3rd and left hander Lyle Overbay due up. Alex Torres came in to strike out Overbay to end the threat. Torres has inherited 19 runners on the season and only allowed 4 of them to score.

Cobb was strong through the first 3 innings but gave up a solo home run to Robinson Can in the 4th inning to tie the game at 1-1. He’d get burned by Cano again in the 6th inning when he doubled in Ichiro Suzuki but was thrown out trying to stretch his double into a single.

After Torres did his magic in the top of the 6th inning Evan Longoria continued his torrid hitting by depositing a home run to the seats in left to tie the game at 2-2. It was Longoria’s 28th home run on the season.  Over his last 17 games (including today) Longoria is hitting .343 (23 for 67) with 14 extra base hits including 8 doubles and 6 home runs.

Jake McGee came in to work the 7th inning and served Mark Reynolds, Chris Stewart, and Brett Gardner a steady diet of fastballs which resulted in swinging strike outs for each.

Joel Peralta came in to work the 8th inning and allowed a lead off single to Ichiro Suzuki and a couple of uncomfortable long fly balls and foul balls to Robinson Canon and Alfonso Soriano but kept the Yankees off the board.

With the score tied 2-2 in the 9th inning Fernando Rodney came in to work and struck out Eduard Nunez, retired Lyle Overbay on a groundout to first, and Mark Reynolds on a check swing ground out back to the mound.

Jamey Wright came in to work the 10th inning and gave up a lead off single to pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez. It was Rodriguez first career pinch hit. He moved to 2nd base on a sacrifice bunt by Brett Gardner. Ichiro Suzuki lined the ball back to Jamey Wright who turned and threw to 2nd base to double off Alex Rodriguez to end the inning.

Wright came out to work the 11th inning and gave up a 1-out double to Alfonso Soriano. In an aggressive move Soriano stole third base and came in to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Curtis Granderson to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.