Rays 4, Yankees 0

Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera pitched 1 1/3 innings in his final appearance at Yankee Stadium, but it was in a non-save situation as the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep with a 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
After getting the second out in the ninth, longtime teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter came out to the mound and shared an embrace with Rivera. Rivera exited with tears in his eyes, tipped his cap to the crowd and accepted hugs from teammates.
As fans chanted, "We Want Mo," he sprinted out of the dugout, tipped his cap and turned toward the crowd to express his appreciation for their support. Then he headed back in the dugout and the game resumed.
Rivera entered with two on and two outs in the eighth inning. He threw 13 pitches and his final batter was Yunel Escobar, who popped up to second base.
Rivera's special moments with the sellout crowd of 48,675 came as the Rays (90-69) extended their winning streak to seven games, won for the 12th time in 15 games and lowered their magic number for clinching a wild card spot to three over the Cleveland Indians and two over the Texas Rangers.
Alex Cobb (11-3) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings, Evan Longoria drove in three runs and Delmon Young added a solo home run.
Cobb retired 16 of 17 hitters before allowing a double to Curtis Granderson and a single to Lyle Overbay. Joel Peralta finished the eighth and Jake McGee worked the ninth.
New York starter Ivan Nova (9-6) allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings.
Tampa Bay had three hits in the first three innings but also hit into two double plays against Nova.
The Rays scored in the fourth on an RBI single by Longoria but left the bases loaded when Matt Joyce popped out and Jose Lobaton hit a sinking liner to center field.
NOTES: The Yankees said Rivera might get a chance to play center field this weekend in Houston. That is something Rivera requested, but he took a serious tone when answering questions about it. "If my body permit it," he said. "One thing I will tell you, if I can do it, I will do it. If I cannot do it, I will not be making a fool of myself there. I'm a professional, and this is not a joke for me. This is serious. This is business. I respect the game, and with that, I leave it like that. If I'm OK, if I can do it, I will do it. If not, it's fine." ... The Yankees shot down a report by the New York Daily News that 3B Alex Rodriguez was granted permission to not be with the team this weekend. Rodriguez was held out of the lineup because his his legs bothering him. ... Tampa Bay was without OF Desmond Jennings (hamstring) and SS Yunel Escobar (ankle). Both are day to day. ... The Rays announced that Wednesday's game against the Yankees had a 7.9 television rating and was the highest-rated program in the Tampa Bay market.

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