The New York Yankees rebounded from Wednesday night's ninth-inning collapse to take Game 3 against the Rays and clinch the series in the Bronx. New York ace CC Sabathia went eight strong innings, allowing no earned runs and giving way to Rafael Soriano in the ninth.
The Rays capitalized on two Yankee errors in the first two innings to take an early 2-0 lead. Carlos Pena singled home Sean Rodriguez in the top of the first after a throwing error by Eduardo Nunez kept the inning alive one batter prior. After another throwing error by Nunez in the second inning, Rodriguez brought home Elliot Johnson to make it 2-0 against Sabathia. But the big lefty was undeterred by his defense, cruising through the next six innings and finishing with ten strikeouts, including three by B.J. Upton.
Tampa starter David Price did not have his best stuff, allowing five earned runs and 11 hits over seven innings. He walked three and struck out four, but gave up too many big hits to the Yankees' lineup. After Tampa took an early 2-0 lead, Price gave it right back in the bottom of the second when Curtis Granderson homered and the bottom of the order put together a threat that ended with Chris Stewart singling home Nunez. New York would take the lead for good when Robinson Cano, who's had a subpar year, smashed a two-run homer to right to make it 4-2. That's all Sabathia and Soriano would need, before closing it out 5-3.
The Rays now travel down I-95 for a first-place showdown with the Baltimore Orioles. Game 1 of the weekend series will feature Jeremy Hellickson vs. Dana Eveland on Friday night.
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