CC, Yanks Can’t Keep Rays Down
(Lucky for him, unlucky for the Yanks - This young fan got hold of a ball Friday night, but the Yankees couldn't win for him.)
Photos by Gary Quintal
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, September 15- David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays has had success as the opposing pitcher when facing the New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia. Coming off a 5-5 road trip, that concluded winning their last two at Boston, the Yankees needed Sabathia to be his best.
Price, got the best of Sabathia again Friday night in the Bronx pitching the Rays to 6-4 win at Yankee Stadium, the start of an important three-game series in what has become a tight race for first place in the American League east.
“That was a big game for us facing CC and that lineup,” said Price (18-5) who won his league leading 18th game. He improved to 7-4 against the Yankees and his team has won seven of eight against New York when he is on the mound.
Though Sabathia looked sharp at times, limiting the Rays to one hit through five innings, his location was not evident as the Rays’ scored three runs in the fifth inning. A double, walk, RBI single and a wild pitch put Tampa ahead.
“I still believe in CC,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “There’s a guy that’s done so many special things for us here so I still believe in him.” Sabathia allowed six hits and four runs in 6/2-3 innings and he lost control of his breaking ball in that fifth inning.
Said Sabathia, “I feel good. I am just not going out there and executing pitches.”
The Yankees, struggling to score runs with runners in scoring position, 1-for-6, could not surmount a significant rally when Price left the game after seven innings, striking out six on five hits.
Curtis Granderson hit his 38th home run in the fifth inning off Price. Alex Rodriguez hit his 18th home run of the season when Price left the game off Joel Peralta in the eighth inning that that led to the final Yankees runs of the evening.
It was the 647th career home run for Rodriquez that sent him past Lou Gehrig for ninth place on the runs list with 1,899.
With his 3,284th hit in the fifth inning, Derek Jeter broke a tie with Willie Mays for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time hits list. But as Jeter said, “It is more important to win games,” as the Yankees remained tied with Baltimore for first place with Baltimore in the division.
Fernando Rodney tossed 1.2 scoreless innings and got the five out save, his 43rd. “We had two Cy Young Award candidates pitch tonight for us,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon commenting about Price and Rodney.
“It’s something that when the season is over I will have an opportunity to appreciate it more,” commented Jeter about the milestone hit. “Right now I want to concentrate on winning games.”
The Yankees will try and get on the winning track again Saturday afternoon. Ivan Nova, (11-7) gets his first start since coming off the disabled list
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.,com