Devil Rays 5, Yankees 4
NEW YORK (AP)—The Tampa Bay Devil Rays keep tripping up the Yankees.
Casey Fossum took a shutout into the eighth inning for his first victory as a starter since August, and the Devil Rays ended New York’s six-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory Monday night.
Tampa Bay, the worst team in the American League at 24-46, is 2-1 at Yankee Stadium this year and 4-27 in all other road games. The Devil Rays beat rookie Sean Henn for the second time and improved to 5-2 against New York, winning four straight from the Yankees for the first time since the franchise started play in 1998.
“I don’t know,” Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. “Let’s enjoy this win and come out here and play hard again tomorrow and try to win another one.”
Hideki Matsui hit a three-run homer off Lance Carter in the eighth as the Yankees rallied from a five-run deficit to make it close. Danys Baez relieved and walked Jorge Posada, then got four straight outs for his 10th save in 16 chances, completing a six-hitter.
New York outscored its opponents 45-16 in sweeping Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cubs to start a 13-game homestand, but the Yankees didn’t get a hit against Fossum (3-5) until Matsui’s leadoff double in the fifth. New York’s only other hits against him were Alex Rodriguez’s double leading off the seventh and Robinson Cano’s single opening the eighth.
“I was just getting ahead of hitters, really changing the speed of my curveball and just mixing it up every time I got out there,” Fossum said.
He had been 0-7 in 12 starts since beating Cincinnati for Arizona on Aug. 28. While Fossum had been 0-2 in six starts this year, he did win twice in 11 relief appearances.
“We’ve been playing pretty good as a whole lately,” Derek Jeter said. “We just couldn’t figure him out for the first seven innings.”
Cano’s eighth-inning hit chased Fossum, and Carter allowed singles to Jeter and Gary Sheffield, the latter driving in a run. Matsui’s eighth homer was a drive to right on a 1-2 changeup.
New York could have had a bigger inning, but Tony Womack and Rodriguez popped out against Carter. Baez ended the eighth by fanning Jason Giambi, who went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts and again was booed at home
Henn (0-2), roughed up at Tampa Bay in his major league debut on May 4, did little better in start No. 2. Pitching because Kevin Brown is on the disabled list with back spasms, Henn allowed four runs—three earned—four hits and seven walks in 4 2-3 innings.
“I don’t know what it was. The easiest thing to say was, well, I was nervous,” Henn said. “I didn’t have it. I was all over the place.”
Henn, who lowered his ERA from 19.29 to 10.29, got in trouble in the second, walking four and falling behind 3-0. After Carl Crawford’s bases-loaded walk forced in the first run, Julio Lugo grounded the ball between third and shortstop. Jeter’s throw to third bounced into the seats as two runs scored, one on the infield hit and one on the error.
After Henn departed with two on in the fifth, Damon Hollins lofted a single to short right field against Paul Quantrill to drive in another run. Jorge Cantu added an RBI double in the sixth, a drive to right-center that popped out of the glove of Sheffield, who made a long run.
Henn’s next turn in the rotation is slated for Saturday against the Mets.
“Right now he’s still scheduled,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “We’ll see if we have a better option.”
Since winning three of four from New York at Tampa Bay in early May, the Devil Rays had gone 12-28, losing 16 of their last 20 games. On Tuesday they face Randy Johnson, who has lost three straight starts to Tampa Bay. The Big Unit has lost four straight starts to a team just once, against Detroit from 1991-93.
“This is another one of those tests we talk about,” Torre said.
With his 1,476th win, Piniella pulled within four of Earl Weaver for 19th on the career list. … Fossum is 4-3 against the Yankees, including 1-3 as a starter. … The Yankees are 4-1 in one-run games at home, 6-5 overall.