Pena, Hammel help Tampa Bay beat Pettitte and Yankees 8-2
NEW YORK (AP)—This wasn’t exactly what the New York Yankees were looking for heading into a pivotal series.
It was a tremendous confidence booster for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer to tie the franchise’s single-season record and the Devil Rays beat New York 8-2 Sunday for their eighth win in 10 games.
The Yankees lost two of three to lowly Tampa Bay after sweeping AL East-leading Boston. They open a three-game series on Monday against Seattle, which is just two back of New York in the wild-card race.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating but you don’t take anybody lightly,” manager Joe Torre said. “Any team is capable of controlling the game with their pitching and that’s what they did in their two (wins) here.”
Tampa Bay beat Andy Pettitte for only the second time in 20 career starts and won a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2005. It’s only the Devil Rays’ fourth series win in 27 trips to the Bronx.
“The level that we’re pitching at now and the level that our bullpen is at right now really permits us to win games that we were not able to win last year,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Bobby Abreu went 2-for-5 with an RBI for New York, which dropped six games back of Boston in the division. The Mariners lost 6-4 at Toronto, their ninth straight setback.
“We can’t look at the scoreboard,” Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. “When we have to take the field, we have to win.”
“I was happy for us and Aki because I know how upset he was yesterday,” Maddon said.
Pettitte was coming off a typically brilliant August and had won 12 straight decisions against the Devil Rays.
But Tampa Bay went in front on B.J. Upton’s sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Pena hit his 34th homer in the seventh to chase Pettitte and make it 5-1. Jose Canseco also hit 34 homers with the Devil Rays in 1999 and Aubrey Huff accomplished the feat in 2003.
“I’m so happy that I’ve been able to contribute,” said Pena, who spent much of last season on the Yankees’ Triple-A team and signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay in the offseason. “In a game like today, it just feels good to know that you helped the ballclub out.”
Pettitte (12-8) allowed five runs and a season-high 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings, falling to 8-2 in 11 starts since the All-Star break. He also dropped to 13-2 with a 3.53 ERA against Tampa Bay.
“I got outpitched today,” Pettitte said. “I like to think that doesn’t happen often.”
The left-hander, who won all six of his starts last month, hadn’t lost since July 27 at Baltimore.
While Pettitte struggled, the Devil Rays got a great start from Jason Hammel (2-4). The rookie struck out seven in five-plus innings, allowing just one run and five hits on his 25th birthday.
“It was all working together today,” Hammel said.
Hammel, who went 0-6 in nine starts with Tampa Bay last season, earned his first career win as a starter. He tossed 2 1-3 shutout relief innings to win at Arizona on June 18.
Navarro connected with one out in the third for his seventh of the season, giving Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. Left fielder Johnny Damon tried to bring it in with a well-timed jump at the wall but the drive just cleared his glove.
Damon responded in the fifth, throwing out Wilson at the plate and giving New York a little momentum.
Hammel hit Andy Phillips with a pitch with one out in the bottom half and Melky Cabrera followed with a double to right. Phillips hustled around third and stuck his hand under Navarro to reach the plate ahead of the tag.
Cabrera went to third on the throw home and Damon reached on an error to give the Yankees runners on the corners. But Hammel got Jeter to fly out to right and struck out Abreu to end the inning.
Phillips left the game with a contusion of his right wrist and was replaced at first by Wilson Betemit in the sixth. The Yankees said he will have a precautionary MRI exam and CT scan.
Hammel departed after he brushed Alex Rodriguez with a pitch to begin the sixth. Scott Dohmann entered and got Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada to fly out before Robinson Cano walked to put runners on first and second. Betemit then flied out to left to end the inning.
Dohmann and three others combined to work the final four innings for the Devil Rays.
Iwamura’s two-run drive in the eighth was his first since Torre questioned whether his bat conformed to major league rules during New York’s 9-6 win on Saturday.
“Nothing carried over from yesterday,” Iwamura said through a translator. “I haven’t had anything bad or wrong with my bat so I didn’t really think about it.”
Maddon then got Alex Rodriguez’s bat confiscated by the umpires in what Maddon said was purely a retaliatory move.
Tampa Bay RF Delmon Young singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and LF Carl Crawford singled in the seventh to extend his to 11. … The Devil Rays improved to 23-59 at Yankee Stadium all-time.
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