Yankees 6, Devil Rays 0
NEW YORK (AP)—Yankees manager Joe Torre called Chien-Ming Wang’s game a jewel. Devil Rays skipper Joe Maddon compared the Yankees starter with one of the top pitchers in the American League.
Wang’s second career complete game certainly ended a lot better than his first one.
Wang shut down Tampa Bay for the second time this month, pitching a two-hitter for his first career shutout to lead New York to a 6-0 win Friday night.
“This was a game tonight that I really don’t care who we were playing, the way this kid was pitching tonight it would’ve been tough to beat him,” Torre said. “This was a jewel.”
Wang (12-4) struck out one and walked two to win his fourth straight start and earn his second career complete game. The sinkerball pitcher recorded 18 outs on grounders.
“I almost saw Halladay out there,” said Maddon, referring to Roy Halladay, the AL Cy Young Award winner with the Blue Jays in 2003. “A real heavy sinker. Just pounds the strike zone. The velocity on his sinker is really abnormal.”
Wang limited the Devil Rays to one run and six hits in 8 1-3 innings in a 5-1 win at Tampa Bay on July 8. He lost the first complete game of his career when Ryan Zimmerman hit a game-winning two-run homer off him to give the Nationals a 3-2 win on June 18.
He had no problems in the ninth this time, retiring the Devil Rays in order.
“I felt really comfortable with where (catcher Jorge) Posada set up,” Wang said.
The Devil Rays have lost 10 straight road games since they beat Washington 11-1 on June 30.
Bernie Williams homered, Derek Jeter had three hits and Alex Rodriguez reached base three times for the Yankees, who have won four straight and five of six to improve to a season-high 20 games over .500 (60-40).
Wang set down the first 12 hitters he faced before Ty Wigginton led off the fifth with a single into center field. The right-hander responded by retiring the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
“He was just pounding the strike zone with that sinker,” Wigginton said. “The ball would take a right hand turn. I’d say he had no-hitter stuff tonight.”
Julio Lugo singled off second baseman Miguel Cairo’s glove with two outs in the sixth for Tampa Bay’s other hit. He stole second and went to third when Wang threw a wild pitch on ball four to Carl Crawford. Rocco Baldelli then flied out to center to end the inning.
The Yankees had no problems with Devil Rays starter Tim Corcoran (4-2), who struggled with his control. Rodriguez hit a two-out RBI single in the first and Jeter slashed a two-run single into right field in the second to make it 3-0.
Corcoran made a nice play on Johnny Damon’s liner leading off the fourth but fell apart after that. Jeter doubled to left and Corcoran walked three straight batters to force in a run before he was pulled for Chad Harville.
Jeter also singled in the fifth and is 15-for-29 (.517) in his last seven games.
“You just want to be comfortable. I don’t really think about it too much,” Jeter said of his hot streak. “My job is to get on base, move guys, things like that so that’s pretty much all I’m trying to do.”
Corcoran allowed five runs and seven hits with a career-high six walks.
Harville got Williams to fly out after coming in for Corcoran, but then walked Andy Phillips to force in another run.
Williams hit a drive to center field off Harville in the sixth for his eighth homer of the season.
Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said LHP Scott Kazmir could be bumped back again from his scheduled start on Tuesday. He was slated to start Friday’s game against the Yankees but was pushed back because of shoulder soreness. … Yankees RHP Kyle Farnsworth said before the game he was available to pitch against the Devil Rays. His back stiffened while he warming up Wednesday night at Texas. … Yankees RF Gary Sheffield is scheduled to see a doctor on Monday about his injured left wrist. He had his cast removed last week and could find out when he’s allowed to swing a bat again when he speaks with the doctor. … Yankees 2B Robinson Cano said his injured left hamstring felt good after running the bases.