The Yankees more than settled the score on Tuesday.
Coming off a wild win in which they scored 13 runs in an inning against the Devil Rays for the second time this season, the Yankees will look to continue their red-hot hitting when the teams continue their four-game series.
The last-place Devil Rays have just six road wins this year, but two of them have come at Yankee Stadium. They appeared to be on the way to a third in the Bronx on Tuesday as they roughed up Randy Johnson and built a 10-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.
However, New York chipped away and got within four heading into the eighth. The Yankees then sent 16 men to the plate and got 12 hits, including four home runs, the last three by Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui coming back-to-back-to-back in a 20-11 victory.
“If there’s a turning point in the season, this should be it,” said Bernie Williams, who drove in five runs.
The 13-run inning matched the Yankees’ output in the second inning of a 19-8 win over the Devil Rays on April 18, also in the Bronx.
Sheffield finished 4-for-6 with two homers and seven RBIs on Tuesday for New York, which has won seven of eight.
However, it has been Matsui who has been the driving offensive force during the Yankees’ run, batting .488 (21-for-43) with five home runs, 17 RBIs and 12 runs during his 12-game hitting streak. The reigning AL player of the week, who finished 4-for-5 on Tuesday, has raised his batting average from .267 to .295 in that span.
Derek Jeter has also been hot at the plate, hitting .377 (23-for-61) with four homers, 11 RBIs and 18 runs in his last 14 games. The Yankees captain went 5-for-6 with a homer and scored five times Tuesday.
Carl Crawford went 4-for-6 on Tuesday for the Devil Rays, and is batting .364 (12-for-33) with three triples during his seven-game hitting streak.
Tampa Bay has lost four of five.
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