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St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez belted two solo homers and the New York Yankees snapped their six-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over Tampa Bay in the finale of a two-game series.
Brett Gardner had three hits, an RBI and two runs scored for the Yankees, who banged out 12 hits to end their season-long skid.
Ivan Nova (4-3) picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings. He was pulled after loading the bases in the sixth and four New York relievers closed the game out.
Former Yankee Johnny Damon had three hits for the Rays, who fell to 8-4 in their last 12 games. Their lead in the AL East was cut to two games over the Yankees.
|Final - 5.17.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||0||0||0||1||0||1||2||0||2||6||12||1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||6||1|
|WP: Ivan Nova (4 - 3)
LP: James Shields (4 - 2)
Jorge Posada is back in the New York Yankees lineup Tuesday night against Tampa Bay Rays right-hander James Shields. And Posada is not batting ninth. He is seventh in Manager Joe Girardi's lineup tonight, with left fielder Brett Gardner eighth and newly-recalled right fielder Chris Dickerson ninth.
Posada has not been in the lineup since refusing to play Saturday against Boston when Girardi penciled him into the ninth spot in the batting order. Posada, the team's designated hitter, is hitting just .165.
Dickerson, an outfielder, was recalled when setup man Rafael Soriano was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Soriano has been dealing with inflammation in his pitching elbow, and the Yankees hope a couple of weeks of rest will cure it.
Also, the Yankees announced the signing of veteran left-handed reliever Randy Flores to a minor-league contract. The Yankees have left-handers Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano on the disabled list -- Marte out for the year and Feliciano indefinitely. Boone Logan, the only remaining lefty reliever, has been ineffective.
What the heck has happened to the New York Yankees? A couple of weeks ago the Yankees were riding high, breezing along atop the American League East while Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays slogged along trying to overcome awful first weeks of the 2011 MLB season.
Now, the shoe is on the other foot. The Yankees have lost six straight, including three to Boston and one to Tampa Bay, and 10 of their last 13. They are now 20-19, three games behind the Rays in the division and tied with Boston.
Where did it all go wrong? The answer is, honestly, pretty much everywhere. Forget the squabbles with Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter recently, for the past two weeks the Yankees have not done much of anything well. They have not hit when they have needed to, the defense has been shoddy, the base-running at times questionable and the pitching erratic.
The Yankees are hitting .227 during their recent losing streak and the rotation has a 6.15 ERA.
Forget Posada and his anemic .165 batting average. The Yankees' offensive issues run much deeper than that. Derek Jeter is back down to .255. Russell Martin is hitting .252 after a hot start. Mark Teixeira is at .252 and has tailed off recently. Alex Rodriguez is at .242 and has been a non-factor in recent weeks. Brett Gardner is at .248. Nick Swisher is at an awful 218. Even Robinson Cano (.286) has not been great lately, and now is hobbling around on a bruised knee.
"This is going to turn around," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We're going through a really tough stretch. This is where you're tested as a team, and you've got to fight through it."
If the Yankees are going to get started in the right direction Tuesday night, they will have to do it against a tough right-hander, James Shields. Shields is 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA this season. The Yankees will start Ivan Nova, who is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA.
The fallout from Jorge Posada's highly-publicized refusal to play for the New York Yankees Saturday night when he was placed ninth in the team's batting order is continued to rain down on the player, and the team. There are a couple of new reports today, one that Posada was so angry on Saturday that he asked off the team, another that he refused to catch when asked to do so during Spring Training.
The New York Post reported that Posada, claiming he had been treated unfairly by Manager Joe Girardi during Girardi's entire three-plus year tenure with the Yankees, wanted off the team. Girardi was the Yankees' starting catcher in the late 1990s when Posada came to the big leagues, and Posada eventually took Girardi's job. There has been a long-running belief that there remains some tension between the two dating back to that time.
The New York Daily News also reported that Posada refused to catch in a game during Spring Training. Posada denied that, saying the team "never asked" him to do more than catch in the bullpen a few times.
Posada has not been in the Yankee lineup since refusing to play on Saturday, and is hitting just .165. In many ways, it is unfortunate to see a proud 17-year veteran who has been so highly respected and done so much for the franchise involved in this type of bickering.
Sadly, though, the end comes for all athletes and they are usually the last to see it. In Posada's case the Yankees have to put winning above the veteran's feelings, and that is a hard pill for any veteran to swallow.
Through five innings Monday night the New York Yankees looked headed for a much-needed victory over the Tampa Bay Rays that would have snapped a five-game Yankee losing streak. Instead, A.J. Burnett melted down in the sixth inning and the Rays scored five times, turning a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 lead, which they held onto for the win.
Curtis Granderson hit his 14th home run of the season, a three-run blast that gave New York a 5-1 edge in the fifth. The Yankees also scored twice in the second inning.
Kyle Farnsworth, a former Yankee reliever, pitched the ninth inning for Tampa Bay to earn his eighth save.
The Yankees are now just one game above .500 at 20-19. Their sixth straight loss dropped them three games behind the 24-17 Rays in the American League East.
|Final - 5.16.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Yankees||0||2||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||5||7||1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0||0||0||1||0||5||0||0||X||6||9||1|
|WP: Juan Cruz (2 - 0)
SV: Kyle Farnsworth (8)
LP: A.J. Burnett (4 - 3)
The Yankees stink.
They don’t catch the ball, they don’t hit it and they don’t pitch it out of the bullpen, either. Rivera is still Rivera, but “Enter Sandman” didn’t sound so ominous Sunday night when Rivera entered the arena with the Red Sox holding a 7-5 lead.
This morning, the Yankees own one more victory than the New York Mets. That’s right, one more victory than the Mets.
The Yanks are getting no pop from the corner outfield spots. They come across as slow, old and athletically challenged at too many positions in the field.
Their eighth-inning guy, Rafael Soriano, is making a genius of Cashman, the executive who didn’t want him, and appears to be auditioning for Carl Pavano’s role in “American Idle.” The overstuffed Joba Chamberlain, a phenom in a different life, still has that remarkable talent for throwing the wrong pitch at the wrong time.
For his fifth consecutive loss, Girardi posted a lineup that didn’t include a single batter hitting at least .300.
This is what happens when an aging team loses nine of 12, including three straight to Boston, and endures some unfortunate controversy.
Do the Yankees really stink? Time will tell, but I am not prepared to admit that just yet.
As we reach the baseball season, it was supposed to be the Tampa Bay Rays who were a mess in the American League East. Instead, the Rays are in first place. and it is the New York Yankees who appear broken, having lost five straight games and nine of their last 12.
Well, the aging Yankees shuffle into Tropicana Field with their walking sticks, wheelchairs, sore elbows, wounded shoulders, miniscule batting averages and punctured pride to begin a brief two-game series with the Rays Monday night. A.J. Burnett pitches for New York and David Price for Tampa Bay.
Over the past couple of weeks the Yankees have not hit well, their defense has been shoddy, their pitching -- especially their bullpen -- has been spotty, and their baserunning has been questionable at times. All signs of a struggling team.
Which, really, is what most experts thought the 23-17 Rays would be this season. After losing outfielder Carl Crawford to Boston and closer Rafael Soriano to the Yankees, as well as first baseman Carlos Pena, pitcher Matt Garza and shortstop Jason Bartlett, and suffering through the Manny Ramirez retirement the Rays are still finding a way to win. They are two games in front of the Yankees in the division standings.
Speaking of Soriano, the Yankees don't know when their $35-million set-up man is going to pitch again. Soriano took some time off last week and had an MRI on his elbow. He pitched Friday against Boston, but has been shut down since with a recurrence of the elbow stiffness that had been bothering him. He is not expected to pitch against Tampa Bay and could be headed to the disabled list.