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Rays Win 6-5, Drop Yankees To Three Games Back

Rays win! After a rally sparked by Sam Fuld's third career homerun, the Yankees were handed their sixth straight loss as the Rays held on to their 6-5 lead before a crowd of over 25,000 this Monday night. This was the first meeting for the division rivals this season. 

David Price struggled early, but the top ranked bullpen pitched to expectation. After Juan Cruz handled the sixth with one hit and one strikeout, Joel Peralta had no problem pitching the seventh and eighth innings for the Rays. He held off six batters allowing no hits and no base runners. Closer Kyle Farnsworth then shut down the ninth on eight pitches including one strikeout. 

Bullpen Notes

  • Juan Cruz was credited with his second win of the season for stopping the Yankees offense in the sixth. His one hit allowed was the only base runner allowed by the Rays bullpen. 
  • Joel Peralta earned his fifth hold of the season and Kyle Farnsworth his eighth save in nine chances. Peralta and Farnsworth have emerged as the Rays' high leverage pitchers and both were underrated signings this off season. Peralta pitched a 2.02 ERA, 0.80 WHIP for the Nationals last season but slipped under the radar and signed with the Rays early for $900K. Farnsworth had struggled the last few seasons, but developed a cutter that impressed management enough to pay him closer money at the tune of $3.25 mil. Baseball on a budget continues to impress.

Game Notes

  • Johnny Damon, Sam Fuld and B.J. Upton homered off A.J. Burnett. He had allowed six this season. Surprisingly, Joyce did not have a homerun - but he did have an RBI on a well placed grounder to right. Fuld continued to be super against AL East rivals. Could he be returning to his Legendary ways?
  • The sixth inning featured six hits as all nine batters came to the plate and New York needed 41 pitches to get through the frame.
  • Curtis Granderson performed well today, hitting a three run homer off David Price in the fifth after working a ten pitch count. Both men are lefty. 
  • This was the first home game the Rays posted more than five runs in 2011. Only the 1908 Brooklyn Superbas had a lower scoring start. Their sixth run wasn't scored at home until the 27th home game. This was the Rays' 23rd. 
  • The Rays look to hand the Yanks their seventh loss in a row tomorrow as James "Big Game" Shields faces off against rookie Ivan Nova. New York has not lost seven games in a row since 2007. 

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.