The Game: The Tampa Bay Rays dropped a close game with the New York Yankees 6-4 on Thursday night at Steinbrenner Field. Carlos Pena snapped his 0 for 21 skid with a solo home run in the second inning of the game.
The Rays got on the scoreboard first in the second inning with Pena’s solo home run to right field.
The Yankees answered back in the bottom of the inning by adding two runs of their own. Marcus Thames drew a walk to lead of the inning. Then Ramiro Pena singled to right with two outs. Derek Jeter drove home both runners with a two run double to center giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
Tampa Bay battled back to retake the lead in the fourth inning. BJ Upton things started with a triple to center. Upton then scored on a passed ball to tie the game. Pat Burrell singled to center, followed by a walk to Dioner Navarro and a single by Jason Bartlett to load the bases with two outs. Then the second passed ball of the inning allowed Burrell to score and give the Rays a 3-2 lead.
The Rays lead lasted until the sixth inning. Randy Winn and Ramiro Pena singled to put two runners on for the Yankees,. Then Colin Curtis cleared the bases with a three run homer to give the Yanks a 5-3 lead. They then picked up an insurance run in the seventh off an RBI single by PJ Pilitere, increasing the lead to 6-3.
Tampa Bay picked up one more run in the eighth inning. Justin Ruggiano tripled to lead off the inning then later scored on a ground ball by Dan Johnson. The Rays could not push across any more runs and they lost 6-4.
Carlos Hernandez surrendered 2 runs on 3 hits with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks in 3 innings. Heath Rollins followed with 2 shut-out innings allowing only 1 hit and a walk. Jeff Bennett suffered the loss, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits with a walk. Heath Phillips allowed a run on 3 hits with a strikeout. Dale Thayer pitched the final frame allowing no runs, no hits and striking out 1.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Reid Brignac: 0 for 2 with a strikeout.
A Look Ahead: The Rays (11-3) and Yankees (6-8) do it all over again Friday night, this time at Charlotte Sports Park. Dan Wheeler will get the start with Jeff Niemann, Joe Bateman, Richard De Los Santos and Mike Ekstrom available to pitch.