Scattered Clouds 50° Good Afternoon
Scattered Clouds 50° Good Afternoon

Posada, Burnett team up as Yankees beat Rays, 7-3

Catcher Jorge Posada #20 of the New York

Catcher Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after his home run against the Tampa Bay Rays. (April 11, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Once again, Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett just couldn't agree.

But no worries.

It's not those issues again.

After the Yankees finished their season-opening trip with a 7-3 win over the Rays yesterday, there was some debate regarding Burnett's outing.

The pitcher wasn't impressed.

The catcher was.

Burnett had a rocky first inning in which he allowed two runs, but that was all he gave up. He allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings, walking three and striking out one.

"In general, I just felt like I didn't have a lot going," he said.

"I thought he did. I thought he had good stuff," said Posada, whose two-run homer off former Yankee Randy Choate in the sixth inning gave the Yankees the lead for good at 3-2. "He was in there, he was throwing strikes and being aggressive and attacking, and that's all we can ask for. I think he was great, he really was."

Pitching coach Dave Eiland went out to visit Burnett after he walked the game's fourth batter, Evan Longoria, with a run already in and Carl Crawford on third.

"He was feeling his way around. He wasn't sure what he had," Eiland said. "I just wanted to let him know that his stuff was good, to attack the strike zone and use the plate, because it was plenty good enough to get these guys out."

Burnett said he didn't have much of a curveball but was pleased with the changeup he worked on throughout spring training. Posada said Burnett threw five of them.

"It wasn't like I was out there going, 'Oh, God, where's all my stuff?' " Burnett said. "It wasn't that. It's just I've had better stuff."

James Shields allowed four hits in 51/3 innings, departing with a 2-1 lead after Robinson Cano's one-out double in the sixth, and wound up being charged with two runs when Posada followed with his two-run shot to left-center. Curtis Granderson also singled off the lefthanded Choate and scored on Lance Cormier's two-out wild pitch.

Alex Rodriguez had two of the Yankees' four doubles, with his gapper to deep left-center driving in two runs in the seventh for a 6-2 lead. Nick Swisher's solo homer off Andy Sonnanstine in the eighth made it 7-2.

The Yankees finally head home and they're feeling good about themselves after going 4-2 against the two teams considered their primary competition for another AL East title. They are off Monday before facing the Angels Tuesday afternoon in the home opener.

"To come in and play a team like Boston to open up the season and then come and play the Rays right after that, these are two tough series," said Swisher, who - because he felt his swing was too quick - took a 34-ounce bat instead of his usual 31-ounce bat to the plate before his home run. "I think it just shows where our focus is. We feel good. We feel we have a great team."

And one thrilled to be going home after six weeks of spring training and a week on the road to open the season.

"Seven weeks away is too long for me," said Mark Teixeira, who struck out three times after picking up his first three hits of the season Saturday. "I'm looking forward to taking my son to school and hanging out with my wife and kids a little bit."

And, with the rest of his teammates, receiving a World Series ring tomorrow.

"Being able to get out there on the field Tuesday with the fans, I don't know what it's going to be like, but I can't wait," Burnett said. "I'm excited."

New York Sports