Friday, September 5, 2008

Yankees Rally Can't Overcome Rasner

As we batten down the hatches here in the Carolinas for Tropical Storm Hanna, the Yankees continue to be wiped out by their poor starting pitching. It was orginally thought that Al Aceves might take Sidney Ponson's place in the rotation this weekend in Seattle, but now Aceves may be supplanting Rasner, who he relieved last night after Rasner failed to get out of the second inning.

The Yankees only managed one hit off of Rays starter Scott Kazmir and couldn't manage anything against the Rays pen until their final at-bat. The Yankees rallied with two away in the ninth, but came up short. Ivan Rodriguez opened the inning with a double off of Jason Hammel and out later, Cody Ransom got the Yankees on the board with an RBI single to center. Hideki Matsui pinch-hit for Brett Gardner, who had struck out three times looking, but did no better, going down swinging for the second out of the inning.

A Johnny Damon walk put two men aboard and Derek Jeter followed with a 3-run home run to cut the lead to 7-4. Alex Rodriguez, hitting in the number three spot in the order with Bobby Abreu out of the lineup, followed with a solo shot. It was A-Rod's 32nd of the season and number 550 all-time. Joe Maddon brought on Dan Wheeler, who was able to record a save by retiring Xavier Nady on a fly ball to center field.

Rasner had no problem in the first inning, but the second inning ended things for him. Eric Hinske and Dionnar Navarro opened the second inning with singles and a Rasner wild pitch put runners on the corners with no one out. Gabe Gross brought home the first run with a double to right and Jason Bartlett followed with a sac fly. Aki Iwamura then singled home Gross for a 3-0 Rays' lead.

B.J. Upton's single and a Carlos Pena walk loaded the bases and sent Rasner to an early shower. Aceves struck out Cliff Floyd, but Willy Aybar singled through the middle to plate two more for a 5-0 advantage. Eric Hinske finally popped out to end the inning.

The Rays added insurance runs in the fourth, on an Aybar home run, and the eighth for a 7-0 lead.

News and Notes

Derek Jeter is now for four hits within Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time Yankees list.

Bobby Abreu couldn't swing a bat after hurting his wrist stealing second base on Wednesday night. Melky Cabrera will be recalled for tonight's game with Seattle.

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