David Price's night got off to a shaky start as he allowed a leadoff single to Derek Jeter and homer to Curtis Granderson to give the Yankees a two-run lead before recording an out. The good news is that Price rebounded after that homer and kept the Bombers scoreless for seven and a third more innings. Of course, the bad news is that those two runs would be all the Yankees needed to fend off the Rays' (lack of) offense.
Price's line on the night was good: 7.1 IP, 2ER, 6H, 2BB, 5K on 113 pitches. The Velociraptor Jesus had some "umph" on his fastball tonight, averaging 95.65 MPH on his four-seamer, but it was a slider/cutter that did him in against Granderson. It was the second homer for 100-Grand off Price this year, and just the fourth homer Price has given up to a lefty in his career.
The Yankees scored the rest of their runs off of the freshly called up Dane De La Rosa. DDLR came in relief in the eighth inning after Price plunked Granderson with a 94.7 MPH heater between the shoulder blades. It wasn't intentional, but, boy, did it look painful. DDLR looked good in relief of Price as he recoreded a "strike-em-out-throw-em-out" on Mark Teixeria and Granderson to get through the eighth. He ran into some trouble in the ninth, however, when, after coaxing Robinson Cano into a groundout, he walked Nick Swisher and Russell Martin and was pulled in favor of Cesar Ramos. Ramos would put up a fight, but a bloop single Eduardo Nunez scored both runners to bring the Yanks lead to four.
Again, it doesn't matter how many runs the Yankees scored because the Rays couldn't scrape together a run off of Freddy Garcia and company. It wasn't as if the Rays weren't getting on base; they had runners in scoring position in five separate innings, and actually out hit the Yanks 8-7, but they just couldn't put anything but goose eggs on the board.
- Sean Rodriguez had a spectacular bunt in the seventh that just kissed the outside of the bag as it spun down the third base line.
- Like Viserys of the House Targaryen, Matt Joyce received a Golden Crown, or Sombrero, tonight as he was 0-4 with 4K's. The offense K'd seven times against "strikeout machine" Freddy Garcia and ten times on the night.
- Evan Longoria looked pretty painful as well tonight, but he did almost made it a game as he hit a warning-track shot to center in the fifth. Unfortunately, that damned Curtis Granderson made a leaping catch against the wall.
- Casey Kotchman had three hits on the day, but K'd in his fourth AB with runners in scoring position. Not hating on The Magic here, my fellow Wizards, it's just par for the course tonight.
- The Yankees have stolen 420 bases this series and swiped another 69 tonight. All the stolen bags were against lefties Price and Ramos, and the only caught stealing came when DDLR was on the mound.
- Speaking of Dane De La Rosa, it's been said that he's from Torrence, CA. Other famous people from Torrance include Michelle Kwan and Eddie Adams AKA Dirk Diggler. So, he's in good company.
- Series concludes tomorrow night with James Shields taking on Corpulent Crusader Sabathia at 7:10 PM. Here's to a win for relevance!