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Rays end trip with win over Yankees

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Right fielder Wil Myers was definitely excited when he saw his drive turn into an inside-the-park home run.

For the rest of the Tampa Bay Rays, the real excitement came six innings later when they capped a long weekend with a positive outcome that did not leave them on the edge of their seats.

Myers hit an inside-the-park three-run home run with one out in the top of the third inning off New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia and the Rays concluded a 10-game road trip with a 5-1 victory Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

The Rays won four of their last five games and split the trip but did so after getting outscored 32-19 in losing three games to the Chicago White Sox and one to the Boston Red Sox. They won a pair of one-run games in a day-night doubleheader in Boston and then opened the series by scoring five runs in the top of the 14th in a win that took nearly six hours to attain, doing so after arriving in their New York hotel at 3:30 a.m.

"That's what we're trying to do," Tampa Bay catcher Ryan Hanigan said. "Win some games here instead of exciting 5-5 games going to the 14th. We're trying to hopefully (get) some wins like this. It's nice. We haven't had one of these in a while."

"One of the best we've ever had," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Following an ugly 9-3 loss on Saturday, Tampa Bay was hardly threatened after Myers hit the 11th inside-the-park home run in franchise history and the first since utility man Ben Zobrist against Toronto's Brett Cecil on Sept. 25, 2001.

The Rays had center fielder Desmond Jennings on second base and designated hitter Evan Longoria on first when Myers drove a 2-2 changeup from Sabathia. The ball caromed off the top of the right-center field wall as center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury attempted to catch it.

Myers initially ran slowly out of the box, thinking his drive cleared the fence. Once he reached first and right fielder Carlos Beltran did not back up the play after it caromed to right field, Myers easily scored, giving Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead.

"It was real close to going out," Ellsbury said. "I was trying to make a play and save some runs."

Myers later added an RBI double that chased Sabathia with two outs in the fourth and put Tampa Bay ahead 5-1. It marked his fifth career game with four RBIs and four have been against the Yankees, including June 23 when he became the fourth visiting player to make his first career home run a grand slam at Yankee Stadium.

Left-hander Erik Bedard worked slowly at times but held the Yankees to one run and five hits over six-plus innings. Bedard struck out three, walked one and ended a nine-game winless skid that spanned 15 starts and was the second-longest active streak behind Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco (17 starts, 0-12).

"Somebody said it's been a while and I didn't realize it how long it's been," Bedard said. "It's nice and at the end of the day, it's good for the team."

Jake McGee stranded two in a scoreless seventh, Joel Peralta tossed a perfect eighth and Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth.

Sabathia lasted 3 2/3 innings, his second-shortest start as a Yankee that was not impacted by rain or injury. He allowed five runs and 10 hits and his 5.75 earned run average is fourth worst in the majors among qualifying pitchers. When he walked off the mound he heard some boos from the crowd.

"I'd have booed myself," Sabathia said. "I'm just as tough (on myself as the fans). I wouldn't want to come to the ballpark and watch that."

The Yankees lost for the fourth time in five games as Ellsbury, shortstop Derek Jeter and Beltran were a combined 0-for-12. New York's lone run came in the second on a sacrifice fly by rookie second baseman Yangervis Solarte.

NOTES: Tampa Bay designated RHP Heath Bell for assignment before the game, doing so after he made 13 appearances. ... The Rays replaced Bell on the roster with RHP Nathan Karns but that is only viewed as protection for a short start or a long game. ... Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning attended the game and said that SS Derek Jeter has an open invitation to attend Broncos games upon retirement. He watched the game from a suite with his brother Eli Manning. ... The Yankees said it is possible that SS Brendan Ryan could be activated Monday from the DL. He has not played this season due to a cervical spine nerve injury.
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