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Roberto Hernandez Torched Again, Yankees Defeat Rays 9-4

Roberto Hernandez [1] had his second consecutive poor outing and the offense seemed stuck in a post-road trip slumber while David Phelps [2] effectively maneuvered his way through the Rays lineup en route to a 9-4 Yankees victory. The victory drops the Rays to just 1 game over .500 at 24-23 and the Yankees improve to 29-18. The victory came with a price to the Yankees as Curtis Granderson [3] was hit on the hand by a Cesar Ramos [4] pitch resulting in a broken knuckle and he is expected to miss at least 4 weeks.

[5]Roberto Hernandez (2-5, 5.73 ERA) wasn’t sharp and labored through just 4 innings allowing 5R/ER on 6 hits  striking out 3, walking 3, and surrendering a home run.  He was replaced by Cesar Ramos who didn’t fare much better allowing 3R/ER on 3 hits striking out 1, walking 1, and hitting a batter. Jamey Wright [6] came in and worked 3 innings allowing 1R/ER on 1 hit striking out 2 and walking 1 and Kyle Farnsworth [7] worked a 1-2-3 9th inning.

While the Yankees were building a commanding lead against Hernandez and Ramos Yankees starter David Phelps (3-2, 3.96 ERA) was busy mowing down the Rays offense. He retired the first 13 in a row until James Loney [8] doubled with 1-out in the 5th inning. He was cruising into the 8th inning when Ben Zobrist [9] hit a line drive back up the middle that caught him in the right arm knocking him out of the game.  His final line was 8.2 innings allowing 4R/ER on 6 hits striking out 3 and walking 0. He was replace by Boone Logan [10] who struck out Luke Scott [11] to end the inning. Shawn Kelley [12] came in to work the ninth inning and retired the Rays in order.

The Yankees were the beneficiary of an early blown call on a bang bang play at first as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning.  With Travis Hafner [13] at 2b and 1-out David Adams [14] sent a grounder that Yunel Escobar [15]‘s ranged far to his right and made a strong throw that appeared to beat Adams by half a step but he was was called safe.  The added base runner immediately turned into a run for the Yankees as Lyle Overbay [16] doubled to score both Hafner and Adams  to give the Yankees an early 2-0 lead.  Overbay came in to score on a  Jayson Nix [17] single giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Chris Steward flew out for the second out and after Nix stole second base and Brett Garder had walked Joe Maddon [18] elected to intentionally walk Robinson Cano [19] to load the bases to bring Vernon Wells [20] to the plate. The move paid off as Wells was retired on an infield pop out.

The Yankees extended their lead to 5-0 in the top of the 4th. After Hernandez had retired the first two batters  Chris Stewart [21] singled  and Brett Gardner [22] followed with a 2-run homer to put the Yankees ahead 5-0.

The Yankees added 3 runs in the top of the 5th inning against Cesar Ramos to extend their lead to 8-0. With 1-out Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch and then back to back singles by David Adams and Lyle Overbay loaded the bases.  Jayson Nix drew a walk to bring in 1-run, Chris Stewart followed with a single to bring in another, and Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch to score yet another.

The Rays finally got to David Phelps in the bottom of the 6th scoring 3 times to cut the Yankees lead to 8-3. Jose Lobaton [23] led off with a single, reached to second on a single by Yunel Escobar, and came around to score on a Matt Joyce double that also advanced Escobar to 3rd.  Escobar came in to score on a ground ball to short by Ben Zobrist which also allowed Joyce to scoot into  3rd and score on a  Luke Scott sacrifice fly.

Jamey Wright was unable to have a shut down inning the Rays needed as the Yankees added a single run on a triple by Jayson Nix and a wild pitch to push the Yankees lead to 9-3.

The Rays responded with the identical combination to score their 4th run on a  Kelly Johnson [24] triple and a Sam Fuld [25] sacrifice fly.

The Rays will look to take the middle game on Saturday afternoon at 4:1o as they send Matt Moore [26] (8-0, 2.29 ERA) in search of his 9th win without a defeat up against Vidal Nuno [27] (1-1, 1.13 ERA) making his 2nd career major league start.