St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Reid Brignac homered off Sergio Mitre leading off the bottom of the 11th inning, and the Rays moved into first place in the AL East with a 1-0 win over the New York Yankees.
Brignac was a late inning replacement for Carl Crawford, who was ejected from the game in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Tom Hallion for arguing balls and strikes.
In the 11th, Brignac belted a 3-2 offering from Mitre (0-3) to rightfield to send Tampa Bay into first place by a half-game over the Yankees. It was the first homer for Brignac since July 25.
By taking the opener of the big three-game set and handing the Yankees their season-high fourth straight defeat, the Rays re-gained sole possession of first place in the division for just the second time since their 52- consecutive day stay atop the division ended on June 13. They were also alone in first on August 3.
Each team had just four hits, thanks to incredible pitching performances from a pair of Cy Young Award hopefuls in New York’s CC Sabathia and Tampa Bay’s David Price. Sabathia, who leads the AL with 19 wins, fanned nine and walked two while allowing two hits over eight innings, as he threw 119 pitches. Price, a 17-game winner, scattered three hits, walked two and fanned four before departing after throwing 114 pitches over eight frames.
The Rays wasted a chance with two men on base in the eighth when B.J. Upton struck out and Jason Bartlett grounded out.
Kerry Wood retired the side in order in the ninth for New York, which placed a runner at second in the 10th. Brett Gardner, pinch-running for Lance Berkman, stole second, but was then picked off to end the frame.
Tampa Bay loaded the bags in the bottom half, but pinch-hitter Brad Hawpe struck out to extend the contest.
Austin Kearns singled off Grant Balfour (2-1) to begin the 11th, then went to second on a Curtis Granderson sacrifice bunt. Colin Curtis and Derek Jeter both flied out as the threat fizzled.
Jeter singled to right on the second pitch of the game, but Price was able to face the minimum number of batters through the sixth. The wild card-leading Yankees had first and second with one out in the seventh, but came up empty.
Tampa Bay has won three of its last four games…Before Monday, the Yankees were the only team in the Majors that had not lost four straight games in 2010…The Yankees have lost their last five games in which they have been opposed by a left-handed starter…The Yankees did not homer in their three- game series at Texas over the weekend and have hit just three homers total in their last 10 games…This marked the 11th time since 2000 that two 17-plus game winners in the AL squared off against each other and just the fourth time in the last five years…The Rays lead the seasons series, 7-5.
09/13 23:14:50 ET