The Tampa Bay Rays evened up their series with the New York Yankees on Wednesday night behind an impressive outing from Jeff Niemann. The big righty struck out five and walked just one in seven innings, allowing just one run in a 4-1 Rays victory. Niemann got off to a bit of a rough start, after Robinson Cano went the other way with a pitch and double home Derek Jeter, who raced around from first to give New York a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Yankees' pitchers, however, matched Niemann and shut out of the Rays over the first eight innings. David Phelps made just his second career start, and he was impressive shutting out Tampa Bay over 4.2 innings. The Yankees bullpen kept the Rays off the board until new closer David Robertson came on for the save in the one-run game.
It was an ugly outing for Robertson as the bottom of the Rays' order jumped all over him right away. Sean Rodriguez and Brandon Allen led it off with two singles. Ben Zobrist walked and after a Carlos Pena strikeout, B.J. Upton would tie it up with a sacrifice fly to bring home Rodriguez. The tie would not last long, however, as Matt Joyce, in a 1-2 hole, took Roberston over the right field fence for a three-run shot that blew it open at 4-1. Fernando Rodney would stay on in the ninth to get the win.
After the dramatic ninth-inning rally, the Rays will go for the series win on Thursday night in a matchup of aces. David Price will toe the rubber for Joe Maddon while the Yankees will counter with C.C. Sabathia.
We'll have plenty more on this series over the next few days here on SB Nation Tampa Bay, so keep it locked to this StoryStream for all the latest news and updates. As always, please head over to DRaysBay for more on this series and all things Tampa Bay Rays baseball. For some perspective from the other dugout, please head over to Pinstripe Alley, SB Nation's New York Yankees blog. And for more on this and every MLB series, please head over to the SB Nation Major League Baseball hub page.