September 5, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin (55) is congratulated by third base coach Rob Thomson (59) after he hit a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Yankees At Rays: New York Regains 1st-Place With 6-2 Victory In Series Finale

The New York Yankees regained first place in the AL East Division standings Wednesday when they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-2, in the series finale at Tropicana Field.

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Yankees 6, Rays 4: New York Regains 1st-Place Lead With Victory In Series Finale

Sometimes to snap out of a funk a team needs some help from its opponent. That's what the New York Yankees got Wednesday from Tampa Bay Rays' second baseman Elliot Johnson, who's seventh-inning error allowed the game-winning runs to score in a 6-4 victory at Tropicana Field.

The victory moves the Yankees (77-59) into sole possession of first place in the AL East Divisions standings, as the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4. On Tuesday, New York had dropped into a first-place tie with Baltimore after a 5-2 loss.

Providing the offense Wednesday was catcher Russell Martin, who went 2-for-4 at the plate with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning that gave New York a 4-3 lead.

The Rays used a solo home run by designated hitter Luke Scott to re-tie the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the sixth.

But the Yankees answered and capped the scoring in the top of the seventh when a Johnson throwing error allowed two runs to score.

Hiroki Kuroda (13-10) earned the win pitching six innings allowing four runs on eight hits. Relief pitchers Boone Logan and David Robertson combined to toss two scoreless innings, while closer Rafael Soriano collected his 36th save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Losing pitcher Matt Moore (10-9) allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits over 6 1/3-innings.

For more on the Yankees, visit Pinstripe Alley. For more news from the Rays perspective, check out DRaysBay. And for all your MLB news and analysis during the stretch run, visit Baseball Nation.


New York Yankees: 'We’re Just Not Getting It Done'

Life was grand for the Yankees on July 18. Pulverizing opponents with the long ball and supported by a starting rotation that went 15-4 with a 2.62 ERA in June, the Bombers were sitting in the AL East penthouse with a 57-34 record and leads of 10 and 10.5 over the Orioles and Rays, respectively. The race was declared over. Fans and talk-show hosts were debating over how the Yanks would line up their rotation, and if reliable third and fourth starters would emerge. There were even those "if the season ended today" discussions regarding who the Yankees would play in the ALDS.

Oh yes, there was no stopping these Yankees and no chance the mediocre division competition would catch them in the standings. The Orioles and Rays? One’s a perennial also-ran and the other a light-hitting team whose inevitable late surge would be too little, too late. The Blue Jays? Yeah, right. The Red Sox? Whoa boy.

The Yankees were in first place, by their lonesome, for 84 days, their longest run since 2004. Pretty good, right? Not if you analyze what’s happened the last 49 days, a free-fall that’s seen their 10-game advantage completely wiped out. A 5-2 loss to the Rays on Tuesday was their third straight and fifth in the last six games, part of a 19-26 skid since their high-water mark on July 18. No Yankees team in the franchise’s storied history has ever blown a lead of 10 games. According to STATS LLC, its largest lost lead was six games in 1933.

This Yankees team is indeed flirting with making history, but not in a good way. Blame the injuries all you want, but the guys in the lineup haven’t delivered, period. New York’s five straight games of six hits or less is their longest such streak since 1990, when they had six straight games of six hits or less.

"We’ve got to hit," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "That’s the bottom line. It’s hard to win if you don’t hit. We’ve had a tough time scoring runs the last couple weeks, probably starting around the White Sox series. That’s been part of our problem. We’re just not getting it done right now. As a club, we’re just not hitting the ball very well."

-- See the rest of this article at YES Network


Rays 5, Yankees 2: Loss Drops New York Into 1st-Place Tie With Baltimore

Behind a two-run, go-ahead home run from Evan Longoria and a 2-for-4, two-RBI night from Justin Upton, the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees Tuesday at Tropicana Field. The loss was the Yankees' sixth in their last eight games and dropped them into a first-place tie with the Baltimore Orioles (76-59) in the AL East Division standings -- the Orioles routed the Toronto Blue Jays, 12-0, on Tues.

New York was in solo first place for 84 consecutive days.

Handed a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning, losing pitcher Freddie Garcia (7-6) gave up a run in the innings' bottom half and then surrendered the advantage when Longoria hit his blast in the bottom of the third.

The Rays (75-61) capped the game's scoring in the top of the fifth when it tacked on two more runs that came from solo home runs from Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton, respectively.

Winning pitcher Alex Cobb (9-8) pitched seven innings allowing two runs on four hits. Joel Peralta pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the hold, while Rays' closer Fernando Rodney collected his 41st save of the season tossing a scoreless ninth.

In the top of the fourth inning, Yankees' manager Joe Girardi was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo. Girardi got heated after Yankees' hitter Chris Dickerson was called out after looking at a called-third strike -- initially, the feeling was Dickerson was not granted timeout by Randazzo but Girardi admitted in his post-game interview that wasn't the case.

After Dickerson was called out, Girardi then began chirping at Randazzo from the top step of the dugout and that led to his fourth ejection of the season.

Tampa Bay climbs within 1 1/2-games of first place in the AL East, and could cut the lead to a 1/2 if they defeat the Yankees in Wednesday's series finale (7:10 p.m.).

AL East Standings

Baltimore 76 59 .562 0 Won 3
New York 76 59 .562 0 Lost 3
Tampa Bay 75 61 .551 1.5 Lost 2
Boston 63 74 .459 14 Won 1
Toronto 60 75 .444 16 Lost 4

(updated 9.5.2012 at 7:29 AM EDT)

For more on the Yankees, visit Pinstripe Alley. For the opponent's perspective, check out DRaysBay. And for all your MLB news and analysis during the stretch run, visit Baseball Nation.


Yankees At Rays Preview: Game Time, TV Schedule, Probable Pitchers

The New York Yankees will try to even their series against the Rays on Tuesday night with Freddy Garcia on the mound. The Yankees began their 10-game road trip with a Labor Day loss in Tampa as the offense continued to struggle. They now turn to Garcia, who is 7-5 with a 4.90 ERA. He went 3-0 in the month of August, but did not make it out of the fifth inning in his last two starts.

The Rays, who are now just 2.5 games back of the Yanks, will counter with young righty Alex Cobb. After a rough start to the season, Cobb settled in during the month of August. He posted a 3.38 ERA in six games, which included a start against the Rangers that led to eight earned runs to his name.

Failing to get the opener with CC Sabathia on the hill was a tough blow for Joe Girardi, but it's the offense that has to come alive as they try to fend off the Rays and Orioles. Baltimore trails by one game. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Tropicana Field. YES will have the local broadcast while ESPN will nationally televise the game.

For more on the Yankees, visit Pinstripe Alley. For the opponent's perspective, check out DRaysBay. And for all your MLB news and analysis during the stretch run, visit Baseball Nation.

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