Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yankees Give Rays The 'G' Treatment

It's not quite the same as the M & M boys of Mantle and Maris, but the Tampa Bay Rays got a double dose of the letter 'G' on Wednesday night. Curtis Granderson homered, made a marvelous catch in centerfield, and shook off a mid-90s David Price fastball to his back to help Freddy Garcia and the Yankees to a 4-0 win.

Garcia was every bit as good as he was bad against the Blue Jays last week. He would have pitched seven full innings if not for an Eduardo Nunez error that kept the inning alive. Garcia was on target all night, 66 of his 93 pitches were for strikes, as he struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

Granderson gave him a good head start when he followed Derek Jeter's lead off walk in the 1st inning with his 26th home run of the season into the right field seats. It was just the fourth home run a lefty batter had hit against the left-handed Price in his career (the second by Granderson). The Yankees added some insurance in the 9th on a two out, two run single by Nunez for a 4-0 final. Until then the game was a nail biter. Garcia struck out Matt Joyce with two runners aboard to end the bottom of the 1st and did the same to Evan Longoria in the 3rd.

Sam Fuld doubled with two away in the 4th and moved to third on a wild pitch, but Garcia K'ed Sean Rodriguez to strand another Rays' runner in scoring position. Casey Kotchman's two out double in the 5th put two runners in scoring position for Longoria, who hit a deep drive to center field. Granderson, who lost a crucial fly ball in the ceiling Tuesday night, this time had the ball all the way and tracked it down just before crashing into the center field wall.

The Yankees bullpen was dominant in the game as well. Boone Logan came on in the 7th to strike out Casey Kotchman to strand a pair, and David Robertson and Mariano Rivera struck out two of the three batters they each faced.


Tampa Bay's Matt Joyce earned the "Golden Sombrero" with a four strike out night.

Eric Chavez went 4-5 as a DH for the Single-A Tampa Yankees on Wednesday. He'll play the field on Thursday.

Rafael Soriano, who pitched 1.1 innings in a rehab appearance for Tampa on Tuesday, will make another appearance on Thursday.

Ivan Nova was placed on Scranton's disabled list with a sore ankle.

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