Yankees 8, Devil Rays 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—All the walks even made Joe Torre cringe.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays outhit the New York Yankees in an 8-5 loss Wednesday night, but hurt themselves by issuing a team-record 12 walks—two of them with the bases loaded—to help Torre’s Yankees win for the 10th time in 12 games.
“It tough baseball to watch,” Torre said. “But you are out there trying to score runs, and if that is how it happens, that’s OK. They kept missing in the same place. That is a compliment to the hitters because they were patient enough not to get overanxious.”
Hideki Matsui drove in three runs and left-hander Andy Pettitte (8-6) allowed four runs on 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings to win his third straight decision since going only 1 2-3 innings to a loss to the Chicago Cubs on June 8.
The Yankees were outhit 10-7, but it didn’t matter with three Tampa Bay pitchers all struggling to get the ball over the plate.
The Devil Rays have walked 24 batters in the first three games of a four-game series, including 20 the past two nights.
“It’s tough to win that way,” said Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, who had little else to say after his team’s seventh loss in eight games.
Tampa Bay is 4-18 in June.
Pettitte, meanwhile, struck out six and walked one to improve to 10-1 lifetime against the Devil Rays.
“I didn’t know I had that record against them,” Pettitte said. “The guys score some runs here. I approach them like everybody else. Sometimes it just works out like that.”
Matsui, who leads major league rookies with 52 RBIs, had a two-run double in the first off Rob Bell (0-2). He also drew a bases-loaded walk during New York’s five-run fourth.
After the Devil Rays scored three times in the third for a 3-2 lead, the Yankees came back the next inning. Robin Ventura hit an RBI double and Derek Jeter drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single.
Terry Shumpert scampered home on second baseman Alfonso Soriano’s throwing error and Damian Rolls gave Tampa Bay its short-lived lead with a two-run homer off Pettitte—the light-hitting Rolls’ third homer in three nights.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth inning for his 11th save in 12 chances.
Bell, meanwhile, had another miserable outing against the Yankees, yielding seven runs and five hits in 3 2-3 innings.
In four career starts against New York, the right-hander is 1-3 and has given up 31 hits and 25 earned runs in 17 1-3 innings. If there was a bright spot in his performance Wednesday night, it was that he didn’t allow a homer after yielding 10 in his three previous outings against the Yankees.
Devil Rays reliever Al Levine wasn’t much better. He replaced Bell after Jeter’s two-run, fourth-inning single snapped a 3-3 tie and walked Jason Giambi to load the bases. The next two batters—Jorge Posada and Matsui walked, too, forcing in the fourth and fifth runs of the innings for a 7-3 lead.
Giambi drove in New York’s last run when Jesus Colome hit him with a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth.
“The best thing we can do is pull together and find a way,” Rolls said of the Devil Rays’ problems. “We just have to find a way to scratch, claw, tearand try to fight.”
Giambi’s bruised right wrist didn’t keep him out of New York’s lineup. He walked twice and has reached base safely in 31 consecutive games, eight shy of his career high from Aug. 12-Sept. 25, 1998, with Oakland. … When New York scored four runs in the ninth for a 10-9 victory Tuesday night, the Yankees won for just the second time after trailing after eight innings. The three-run deficit was the largest they’ve overcome in their last at-bat since they rallied from three down in the 14th inning to beat Minnesota on May 2, 2002, at Yankee Stadium. … After hitting just two homers in his first 392 at-bats in the majors, Rolls homered in three of his first eight at-bats in this series, including two off Roger Clemens in the opener. … . The Devil Rays optioned RHP Dewon Brazelton to Class A Bakersfield and recalled INF Antonio Perez from Triple-A Durham. Perez started at second base in place of Marlon Anderson andwent 1-for-4.