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Yankees Avoid Sweep at Hands of Rays

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The New York Yankees came into their Independence Day matchup with the Rays looking to snap a nine game losing streak at Tropicana Field. Their task was not an enviable one, as they had to get the better of Rays ace David Price, but they were successful in a 4-3 victory.

Both starting pitchers were on point in the game’s early stages with both Price and Yankees starter David Phelps (1-3, 3.05 ERA) filling in for the injured CC Sabathia, not conceding a hit through the first three innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Rays broke the deadlock. Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a walk and stole second base without a throw from Yankees catcher Russell Martin. Sean Rodriguez knocked him in with a single, on the Rays first hit of the game.

Price (11-4, 2.82 ERA) continued to assert his dominance, shutting down the Yankees until the top of the seventh when Mark Teixeira led the inning off with a solo home run to left field. The Yankees threatened to do further damage in the inning, but bad luck hindered their ability to take the lead.

After an Alex Rodriguez double, Rodriguez’ attempt to steal third was thwarted by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, who got in the way of Rays catcher Jose Lobaton as he tried to make the throw to third. Rodriguez was sent back to second on umpire interference, which prevented him from scoring on the fly ball to right field by Andruw Jones that immediately followed.

The Rays took the lead back in the bottom of the inning, as Boone Logan conceded a leadoff single to Elliot Johnson, who was driven in by a two run home run by Carlos Pena (1-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP).

Tampa Bay called upon former Yankee Kyle Farnsworth in the top of the 8th. He loaded the bases with one out by walking Eric Chavez, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira and brought in the Yankees second run by walking Alex Rodriguez before being pulled in lieu of Jake McGee, who gave up a two run single to Robinson Cano to give the Yankees their first lead of the contest. Both runs were charged to Farnsworth, who took the loss.

Scoreless innings from David Robertson and Rafael Soriano sealed it for the Yankees, who have a day off tomorrow before opening a four game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.

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