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Live Blog: Yankees vs. Rays

Rays win, 3-0.

With the win, the Rays improved to 65-39 and again pulled to within a game of the Yankees (66-38). James Shields was near dominant with his changeup, allowing just four hits and a walk and striking out 11 in 7 1/3 innings to get the win. After serving up Robinson Cano's game-winning homer yesterday, Rafael Soriano handled the Yankees in the ninth to earn his 30th save. Carl Crawford was 2-for-4 (both infield singles) with an RBI, Shoppach 1-for-2 with an RBI and Aybar 1-for-2 with two walks. CC Sabathia again wasn't sharp and was hurt by some poor infield defense, but he did keep the Yankees in the game. He gave up three runs, eight hits and three walks and struck out just three in 6 2/3 innings to get the loss. He falls to 13-5. Nick Swisher went 2-for-4 and Jorge Posada was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Top of the 9th
[Rafael Soriano is in to close for the Rays.]
Soriano slams the door. After Teixeira popped up to first, Cano popped up an off-speed pitch to short, Swisher lined a single to right. Swisher took second on defensive indifference but Posada flew out to left to end the game. Rays win, 3-0

Bottom of the 8th
After Aybar walked and Rodriguez singled to center, Bartlett struck out trying to bunt. John Jaso pinch-hit for Shoppach and struck out on a low slider. Matt Joyce pinch-hit for Kapler and drew a walk on four pitches. Girardi then took Wood out. Gaudin enters with two outs and the bases loaded. (Wood's fastballs were been between 94-95 mph, if you're wondering.) Gaudin struck out Brignac to escape the jam.

Top of the 8th
After Gardner struck out, Jeter hit a grounball single up the middle, prompting Maddon to go to the bullpen. Shields exits having thrown 116 pitches (73 strikes), replaced by Chad Qualls. Qualls got out of the inning, getting Berkman to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

Bottom of the 7th
Upton popped up toward the rightfield line (caught by Cano). After striking out Crawford, Girardi pulled Sabathia (at 112 pitches) for Kerry Wood, who made his Yankee debut. Wood ended the inning by striking out Longoria on a sharp, 76-mph curveball that literally buckled the batter's knees.

Top of the 7th
Swisher flew out to left. Posada drew a walk but was erased on a force out at second when Granderson grounded to first. With two outs and Granderson on first, Alex Rodrguez pinch-hit for Kearns (and the crowd had a mild eruption). Rodriguez struck out looking on a 3-and-2 fastball inside. The overhead cam showed the pitch was a couple inches off the inside corner and Rodriguez argued the call. He's now 0-for-10 as a pinch hitter in his career.
[With Keanrs out, Brett Gardner will come off the bench and replace him in left field. Rodriguez will stay in and play third and Sabathia will start the seventh inning.]

Bottom of 6th
After Bartlett grounded to third and Shoppach grounded back to the mound, Kapler walked on five pitches. Brignac struck out on a 93-mph fastball over the outside corner. Sabathia is now at 103 pitches (58 strikes). Sabathia has labored through this game, but he's thrown 120 pitches in each of his last two starts, so there's a chance Girardi will let him start the seventh inning.

Top of the 6th
Jeter struck out on a changeup down and in. Berkman singled on a line drive to right (his first hit as a Yankee), but Teixeira lined out to second (Brignac made a lunging catch to his right) and Cano grounded out to first. The ball appeared to be slightly foul, touching down just before the bag, but it was called fair and Rodriguez scooped and tapped the base. Girardi and Cano argued the call, but arguments are never won by players or managers.

Bottom of the 5th
After Upton grounded out to third, Crawford got an infield hit on a slow roller to second (speed single). Longoria then lined one toward the rightfield corner and it bounced on the warning track and hit the foul pole for a ground's rule double (it robbed Longoria of an RBI as Crawford would've likely scored from first). With one out, Rodriguez hit a line drive right at Cano, who caught it and threw quickly to first base to double off Longoria and end the inning. Yep, that ball bouncing over the wall did cost the Rays.

[With runners at second and third, Chad Gaudin began to warm in the bullpen. Sabathia has thrown 83 pitches, 50 for strikes.]

Top of the 5th
Shields extended his strikeout streak to six, K'ing Granderson to lead off the inning and Kearns (slow curveball) for the second out. Pena at least snapped the string of strikeouts, popping up to left.

Bottom of the 4th
Sabathia wiggled out of a jam. After Rodriguez struck out on a 3-and-2 fastball down the middle, Bartlett got a gift single. On a grounder to first, Berkman came in to field away from the bag but Sabathia was late in running over to cover first. Shoppach then walked. With two on and one out, Kapler hit a hard grounder toward the first base line, but Berkman made a nice diving stop and beat him to the bag. He saved at least a run. Brignac ended the inning with a pop up to short.

Top of the 4th
Shields struck out the side, getting Cano, Swisher and Jorge Posada on changeups. Cano and Swisher chased low and to Posada, Shields hung the off-speed pitch up high, but he swung through it. That's four consecutive strikeouts on the changeup. Shields ended the third with a strikeout of Teixeira.

Bottom of the 3rd
Crawford drove in Reid Brignac with an infield single (a chopper to short). Brignac had reached first on a grounder up the middle. Cano ranged far to his right to snag it and made another off-balance throw across his body, but it was short and Berkman couldn't scoop the hop. It was called a single, but it probably should have been an out. (Hasn't been a good first few innings for Berkman at first base.) Upton doubled to the right-centerfield gap, setting up second and third with nobody out. After Crawford's hit moved Upton to third, Longoria hit into a 5-4-3 double play and another run scored. Aybar grounded to short to end the inning. 3-0, Rays

Top of the 3rd
Ramiro Pena grounded to second. Jeter grounded to short but Barlett bobbled it slightly and Jeter beat the throw to first. Berkman grounded to first on a 3-and-2 changeup but Jeter, already off on the hit & run, got to second. With Teixeira at-bat, Jeter moved to third on a wild pitch, but Teixeira struck out to end the frame.

Bottom of the 2nd
Kelly Shoppach gave the Rays a 1-0 lead, driving in Willy Aybar from second with a two-out bloop single over first - off the top of Berkman's glove (Teixeira, a taller and more athletic first baseman, would've probably been able to make the catch). Aybar had led off with a ground's rule double to left (he lined the ball to left and it bounced over the wall in the corner, just fair). Sean Rodriguez lined one right up the middle - that almost hit Sabathia in the face - but the pitcher was able to make the catch for the first out. Jason Bartlett flew out to shallow rightfield. After Shoppach's RBI single, Gabe Kapler grounded to third to end the inning. 1-0, Rays

Top of the 2nd
Shields escaped a jam. After Robinson Cano grounded out to first, Nick Swisher singled up the middle and Jorge Posada's groundball single between first and second setup runners at first and third. But Granderson struck out on a changeup and Austin Kearns, in his first Yankee at-bat, popped up to short.

Bottom of the 1st
CC Sabathia reciprocates with an easy first inning of his own. B.J. Upton flew out to center for the first out. Carl Crawford hit a hard grounder up the middle but Cano snagged it going to his right and made a strong throw across his body to get the out. Evan Longoria hit a soft grounder to short.

Top of the 1st
James Shields sharp, working a quick first inning. Derek Jeter grounded out to second, Lance Berkman flew out to center and Mark Teixeira struck out.

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