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(Sunday, April 20th)
Final Score: New York 5, Tampa Bay 1 (12 innings)
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - A day after he threw knuckleballs from the mound in a game so out of hand that a position player was pitching, Dean Anna drew a walk to get his team a win.
Anna checked his swing with the bases loaded and two outs in the 12th inning Sunday, highlighting a four-run rally that lifted the Yankees to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Yankees earned a split of the four-game series after dropping a laugher on Saturday, 16-1, and losing Ivan Nova to an elbow injury that might require surgery.
C.J. Riefenhauser's 3-2 pitch to Anna was outside and in the dirt. Anna took the bat past home plate without breaking his top hand -- the result being a checked swing that looked full.
Third base umpire Marty Foster upheld the check swing on appeal from home plate ump Clint Fagan, drawing Rays manager Joe Maddon out of the dugout.
After the game, Maddon complained there are too many ways to interpret the rule regarding checked swings.
"It's one of the most ill-defined, inconsistent rules in baseball," he said. "I'm not blaming the umpires."
Carlos Beltran added a two-run single and Alfonso Soriano had an RBI hit in the 12th, both off Josh Lueke. Heath Bell (0-1) took the loss after issuing a leadoff walk to Yangervis Solarte.
The Rays had won the previous two games by a combined score of 27-6 -- 11 more runs than they scored in their previous 10 games -- but they managed just six hits in this one. They stranded runners at first and second base in the ninth inning.
Nova left Saturday's game in the fifth inning and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday after an MRI revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He will be further examined Monday to determine if season-ending surgery is required.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was activated from the 15-day DL after going out four games into the season with a strained right hamstring and went 2-for-6.
New York left-hander Vidal Nuno worked five scoreless innings in his first start of the season, striking out six, walking two and giving up three hits.
Rays lefty Cesar Ramos allowed four hits in five innings, including an RBI double to Brett Gardner in the fourth inning that was the focus of a Yankees challenge.
Gardner's hit scored Soriano, who led off the inning with a double. It was originally ruled an out after Wil Myers leapt at the right-field wall to make the catch, but replays showed the ball struck above the padding first.
The Rays had five baserunners in the first six innings but didn't score until the seventh when Matt Joyce's pinch-hit sacrifice fly off Adam Warren plated James Loney. The run was charged to Matt Thornton, who had given up a single to Loney after relieving David Phelps with one out.
Loney scored ahead of the throw from right fielder Beltran, who nearly put the Yankees back in front in the eighth inning when he hit Joel Peralta's 79 mph splitter mere inches on the foul side of the right-field pole.
Preston Claiborne (1-0) earned his first major league win with a scoreless 11th ... Ichiro Suzuki -- in as a pinch-runner after Derek Jeter hit a leadoff single for New York in the 11th -- was caught stealing when a replay review showed he was tagged out at second base after initially being ruled safe.
04/20 19:12:02 ET