Yankees Score Four In Twelfth To Defeat Rays 5-1
The New York Yankees scored four runs in the top of the 12th inning to defeat the Tampa BayRays 5-1. The loss went to Heath Bell  (0-1, 5.79 ERA). The victory went to Preston Claiborne  (1-0, 0.00 ERA). The loss drops the Rays record to 9-10 and the Yankees improve to 11-9.
The Yankees got the leadoff hitter aboard in the top of the 12th as Heath Bell  walked Yangervis Solarte  which prompted Joe Maddon  to go to his bullpen and bring in C.J. Riefenhauser  out of the pen to face Bret Gardner. After failing to lay down the sacrifice bunt he sent a one hopper to the mound. Riefenhauser spun and threw to second to get the force out but Gardner beat out the relay throw at first.
Brian Roberts  lined out for the second out but Brian McCann  lined a single to left center field and the speedy Gardner raced all the way to third. Rather than allowing Jacoby Ellsbury  to have his opportunity to win the game Joe Maddon  ordered the intentional walk to bring Dean Anna  to the plate with the bases loaded.
The strategy backfired as Anna worked the count full before drawing a walk to give the Yankees the 3-2 lead.
After the fifth inning the game became a battle of the bullpens. First the Rays had to push across the tying which they did in the bottom of the 7th on a sacrifice fly off the bat of pinch hitter Matt Joyce off Yankees reliever Adam Warren .
The Yankees bullpen worked seven innings allowing one run on three hits striking out eight and walking two. David Phelps  (1.1 IP), Matt Thornton g (0IP, 1ER), Adam Warren  (1.2IP), Shawn Kelley  (2 IP), and Preston Claiborne  (2 IP).
The Rays bullpen worked seven innings allowing four runs on six hits striking out seven and walking four (one intentional). Brandon Gomes  (0.2IP), Jake McGee  (1.2), Joel Peralta  (1.1), Grant Balfour  (2.0 IP), Heath Bell  (1.o IP),and C.J. Riefenhauser  (0.2 IP), and Josh Lueke  (0.1 IP).
Cesar Ramos  made his first start in nearly two year and only fourth of his career last Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds. After a very impressive first inning he lost control in the second walking three and giving up a ground rule double. His afternoon quickly came to an end after he surrendered a single and home run in the third without registering an out in the third inning.
“He lost the plate in the second inning,” Manager Joe Maddon  said. “That’s something he was not doing in spring training. He was a really sharp strike thrower.” For his start against the New York Yankees Maddon just wanted Ramos to be strike thrower, keep the ball down, and let the defense play, and don’t try to do too much. It was about keeping his command and not letting the moment get away from him.
Ramos followed the script perfectly in holding the Yankees to just one run on four hits over five innings while striking out three and walking one. His five inning outing matched a career high set on September 29, 2009 in a start as a member of the San Diego Padres against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ramos needed only 53 pitches (35 for strikes) which is the fifth highest number of pitches he’s thrown in a game and third most as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The lone Yankees run scored off Ramos came with two outs on a play that was originally ruled a catch ending an inning. With Alfonson at third base and two out Brett Gardner  sent a fly ball to deep right field. Wil Myers  lept and appeared to make the catch ending the threat but Yankees Manager Joe Girardi  came out to argue and issued a challenge. The call was overturned and Gardner was returned placed at second base which is where he was when first base umpire Rob Drake made his out call.
Vidal Nuno  was making his first start of the 2014 season and fourth of his young career. The lefty was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 48th round of the 2009 draft but after a somewhat unsuccessful 2010 season in the Tribes minor league system he was given his release and signed with the Washington Wildwings of the Frontier League where he was spotted by the New York Yankees. He joined the Yankees in 2011 and quickly climbed through their minor league system making his major league debut on April 29, 2013.
He handcuffed the Rays hitters through most of the afternoon only having to dance out of a few minor jams. He held the Rays scoreless through five innings on just three hits striking out six and walking two.
The Rays didn’t record their first hit until a Ben Zobrist  one out single in the bottom of the fourth inning. Logan Forsythe  followed with a double and the Rays had their first threat of the afternoon but Nuno struck out Evan Longoria  and retired Wil Myers  on a groundout to end the inning.
With Ramos out of the game the Yankees mounted a threat against Rays reliever Brandon Gomes  by putting runners on first and second with one out. Jake McGee  came in and retired Yangervis Solarte  on a fly out to right field that moved Carlos Beltran  to third base but came back to strike out Brett Gardner  to end the inning.
The Rays came back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. With one out James Loney  singled and advanced to second when Brandon Guyer  sent a hard shot to third baseman Yangervis Solarte  whose throw was offline to second baseman Brian Roberts  who failed to make the clean transfer and everyone was safe.
Yunel Escobar  sent a line drive past Derek Jeter  to load the bases and with catcher Ryan Hanigan  due up and right hander Adam Warren  on the mound Joe Maddon  went to Matt Joyce as the pinch hitter. Joyce delivered the sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game at 1-1.
Bell came back to strike out Carlos Beltran  and Ichiro Suzuki  stole second but Joe Maddon  came out and challenged the call of safe at second base. After further review the call was reversed and Ichiro was ruled out but Bell walked Alfonso Soriano  but struck out Mark Teixeira  to end the inning.
The Rays will have an off day Monday before the Minnesota Twins come to town for a three game set starting Tuesday.