By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
May 25th, 2013
New York Yankees vs Tampa Bay Rays
Final Score: Yankees 4 Rays 3
The New York Yankees were able to take the second game of the series in Tampa Bay against the Rays with some late inning heroics, as they won in 11 innings. The win moves the Yankees to (30-18), and they still hold a one game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
Vidal Nuno came thru for the Yankees with his second straight good start, but he did not factor in the decision. He pitched very well for most of the game, but seemed to tire down in the later innings, which led to Girardi pulling him. Nuno finished going six innings allowing just two runs on five hits, and one walk. Nuno has done as well as the Yankees could have hoped for in his two starts.
Obviously in an extra-inning game the Yankees bullpen had to work a bit, as after the struggles of Shawn Kelley and Boone Logan in the seventh Preston Claiborne came in and gave the Yankees a solid two innings of work, no allowing a run or hit. Ivan Nova made his first appearance out of the bullpen this season, as he's lost his starting job to David Phelps, but Nova as able to earn his second win of the season. The 10th inning was very interesting however for Nova, as he allowed two base hits and a walk to load the bases before getting James Loney to strikeout, and then Matt Joyce to ground out to end the inning. Mariano Rivera came out in the 11th inning to finish the job for the Yankees with his 18th save of the season on just nine pitches.
The problem for the Rays lately has been the ineffectiveness of Closer Fernando Rodney, who has struggled for a good chunk of the season, and cost the Rays a win on Saturday afternoon. Rodney blew his fifth save of the season, as he allowed two runs on two hits, and a walk in the ninth inning.
The offense was figured to have a tough day on Saturday, as they were facing one of the better pitchers in the majors in Matt Moore, but the Yankees were able to get to him in the first inning, as Travis Hafner knocked in Brett Gardner for his 25th RBI of the season. That was all the offense the Yankees were able to muster against Matt Moore though, as he went six innings allowing just the one first inning run on five hits, and two walks.
The ninth inning is when the Yankees offense came back alive, as after being down to their final out against Rodney Lyle Overbay was able to work a walk to keep hope alive. Girardi then pinch-hit Brennan Boesch for Austin Romine, and Boesch delivered with a RBI double. The lineup turned over then and Gardner was able to hit a clutch base hit to tie it up and send into extras.
In the 11th inning with two outs yet again Lyle Overbay had another great at-bat this time hitting the eventual game-winning homerun off Josh Lueke, for Overbay's eighth homerun of the season.
The Yankees will be looking to get the sweep against the Rays on Sunday afternoon, as C.C Sabathia (4-3, 3.43) will be looking to improve his bad career record in Tampa Bay against Alex Cobb (5-2, 2.73).