For the second consecutive game, the Yankees' starting pitcher left in the third inning, so it was up to the bullpen to keep it close and give the offense a chance to regain the lead.
Dustin Moseley and Chad Gaudin surrendered six earned runs in seven innings Saturday, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 10-5 loss to the Rays. Sunday was a different story, as five relievers gave up two meaningless runs in 62/3 innings in the Yankees' 9-5 victory.
David Robertson and Chan Ho Park held the Rays scoreless for three innings, giving the Yankees a chance to tie it in the third and go ahead 7-3 in the fifth. By the time the Rays scored again, on Gabe Kapler's two-out homer off Boone Logan in the seventh, the Yankees had taken an 8-3 lead.
The Yankees trailed 3-2 with one out in the third when Andy Pettitte exited with a strained groin, leaving runners on first and second with a 3-and-1 count on Kelly Shoppach. Robertson threw ball four, with the walk charged to Pettitte, but got Sean Rodriguez to pop up and B.J. Upton to fly out.
"I liked his stuff in that spot and he did a tremendous job," Joe Girardi said. "Our whole bullpen did a tremendous job."
"We had to throw a few more innings today, but we got through it," said Robertson, who has struck out eight and allowed three hits in six scoreless innings in his last five appearances.
Park followed with 11/3 hitless innings and earned the win.
After Alex Rodriguez hit his 598th homer to give the Yankees a 9-4 lead in the seventh, it looked as if the Yankees would not have to call on Mariano Rivera, who has been battling side and knee injuries, but Joba Chamberlain could not get through the last two innings unscathed.
After a scoreless eighth, he exited after giving up doubles to Carlos Peña and Matt Joyce in the ninth, the latter with two outs. But Reid Brignac, who drove in five runs with two homers Saturday, popped up Rivera's first pitch to end the game.
Lefthander Damaso Marte was put on the disabled list Saturday because of shoulder inflammation, and to replace him, the Yankees called up Logan from Triple-A for the third time. A bullpen is expected to be ready for anything, and Logan is going forward with that mind-set.
"I've never had my own role, just been whatever needed to be done - face a lefty, eat some innings - I don't mind doing it all,'' Logan said. "This is my opportunity. I hate seeing guys get hurt, but the way the game is, you get your opportunities when you least expect it. Coming back up here and being the only lefty in the pen, I feel like I'm ready. I know how it feels pitching with the Yankees now. So I'm definitely ready for it."