St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Russell Martin's bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth brought in the game-winning run as the New York Yankees rallied to take a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays to open a four-game series.
David Robertson (3-0) earned the win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning for New York.
Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 24th save of the year.
Alexander Torres (0-1) took the loss when he allowed the deciding run to cross the plate in the ninth.
Alex Cobb started for the Rays in place of the injured Wade Davis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 7 with a right forearm strain, and allowed two runs -- one earned -- in six innings. However, Tampa took its fifth loss in six games. That includes a 1-0 defeat in 16 innings Sunday night to the Red Sox.
"Going into tonight, fighting through seven or eight innings with these guys, tough loss at the end...you've got to stop the momentum in the wrong direction," Cobb said.
Torres, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham prior to the game, started the ninth for Tampa Bay with the game tied at four.
Curtis Granderson led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on Robinson Cano's groundout to put the go-ahead run 90 feet away with two outs. Torres then gave three straight free passes to Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones and Russell Martin to allow Granderson to cross the plate.
"It's just patience by our hitters, not trying to do it all at once," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We got some walks that really helped us."
Granderson also got the Yankees' offense started in the first, when he reached on a bunt single with one out, stole second and moved to third when Sean Rodriguez bobbled a Mark Teixeira grounder in shallow right field.
Cano then hit a grounder to short, but hustled down the line to foil the potential inning-ending double play, scoring Granderson and giving New York an early one-run advantage.
A Casey Kotchman single advanced Longoria to third and, after B.J. Upton grounded into a double play, Rodriguez hit a high chopper to the right of the mound. Burnett turned and fielded the ball, but his throw to first was low and bounced past Teixeira, allowing Longoria to score and giving the Rays a 3-1 lead.
Tampa Bay's Robinson Chirinos made his first big league at-bat a memorable one when he led off the second by hammering the first pitch he saw into the right- center gap for a double.
Burnett settled in to strike out the next two batters, but then walked Zobrist and Longoria to load the bases. Kotchman followed with a grounder to short that Derek Jeter stopped with a diving grab, but his throw to second for the force attempt was late and Chirinos scored. Upton's fly to the warning track in the left-field corner ended the inning.
Brett Gardner walked to lead off the fifth and moved to third with two outs, then scored when Teixeira legged out a single on a ball fielded in shallow right field by Rodriguez.
Cano came up next, but his plate appearance was delayed when a bank of lights went out as Tropicana Field was struck by lightning. The game was delayed for 17 minutes, and Cano grounded out to keep it a 4-2 game.
Hector Noesi replaced Burnett in the sixth after Damon hit a one-out single and Zobrist followed with a walk. Noesi loaded the bases with a walk, but Upton came up empty again, caught looking at a fastball on the low-and-outside corner.
Cano led off the eighth with a single on a sinking liner into center field and Swisher followed with a walk. After pinch-hitter Jones flied out to center, pitcher Cesar Ramos was replaced by Kyle Farnsworth.
Martin greeted him with a single to load the bases and Gardner slapped a single through the left side of the infield to plate Cano. Nunez followed with a grounder to short, Gardner broke up the force to allow Swisher to cross the plate for the tying run.