American League Game Summary - New York at Tampa Bay|
(Friday, April 6th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 7, New York 6
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - After Evan Longoria sent Tampa Bay into
the postseason on the final day of last year's regular season, the Rays kicked
off 2012 with another dramatic come-from-behind victory over the New York
Carlos Pena, who launched a grand slam in his first at-bat since rejoining the
Tampa Bay, singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning
as the Rays defeated the Yankees, 7-6, in the season opener for both teams.
Pena finished 3-for-5 with five runs batted in his return to the Rays after a
stint with the Chicago Cubs last season.
"This energy that we got going and things like this happen, I don't think it's
a coincidence, it's actually a consequence of how tight we are and how hard we
pull for each other," Pena said of the win.
Fernando Rodney (1-0) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for the Rays, who used Boston's
monumental September collapse to sneak into the postseason last year as the
They rallied from a 7-0, eighth-inning deficit in the 162nd game last season
to beat the Yankees 8-7 in 12 innings. Longoria, who went 3-for-3 with two
runs scored and an RBI on Friday, laced the game-winning home run.
James Shields, who rebounded from a subpar 2010 by tossing 11 complete games
and four shutouts in 2011, was touched for six runs in five innings. He
allowed nine hits and three walks while striking out three.
Newly acquired designated hitter Raul Ibanez smacked a three-run home run,
while Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Robinson Cano added
two hits for New York.
Mariano Rivera (0-1) was 60-of-61 in save opportunities against Tampa Bay
prior to Friday.
"It's going to happen, I saw Valverde blow one yesterday and he hadn't blown
one in over a year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It happens, it's
CC Sabathia went six innings and allowed four of his five runs in the opening
frame. He gave up eight hits and three walks while fanning seven.
"I liked the way he finished and I hope that will be good for his next start,"
Girardi said of Sabathia's outing.
Trailing 6-5 heading into the home half of the ninth, Desmond Jennings began
the frame with a single up the middle and Ben Zobrist followed with a game-
tying triple into the right-field gap.
After the Yankees intentionally walked both Longoria and Luke Scott, Rivera
struck out Sean Rodriguez.
But Pena came up next and drove a deep fly ball off the base of the wall in
left-center field to bring home Zobrist.
The Rays jumped out to a quick 4-0 advantage in the home half of the first.
Jennings started the inning with a walk and following Zobrist's lineout to
center, Longoria reached on a single. Jeff Keppinger grounded out to first
base, moving the runners to second and third.
Instead of pitching to Sean Rodriguez, manager Joe Girardi elected to walk him
and go after Pena, who was 4-for-35 lifetime with two homers against Sabathia
entering the at-bat.
With the count full, Pena crushed a high fastball into the right-field seats.
New York plated two in the second.
Ibanez drove in Alex Rodriguez with a groundout to second and a batter later,
Mark Texeira crossed home on Shields' wild pitch to make it 4-2.
Ibanez led the charge in the top of the third as New York took their first
With Cano at third and none out, Nick Swisher chopped a groundball to first.
Pena decided to go home with the throw, which was a bit wide and allowed Cano
to evade Jose Molina's tag before touching the plate with his left hand to
make it 4-3.
Ibanez came up next and worked a 3-1 count before lining a fastball into the
right-field bleachers for a 6-4 Yankees advantage.
The Rays got a run back in the bottom half of the third on Longoria's solo
shot to left.
David Robertson escaped a first-and-third, no-out jam in the home half of the
eighth by striking out the side.
New York has made the postseason in 16 of the past 17 seasons, and has won the
AL East 12 times during that span...Pena is just the second player to hit a
grand slam off of Sabathia. Edgar Renteria is the other...Curtis Granderson
became the first Yankee to hit 30 home runs, 10 triples and swipe 20 bags last
season, but went 0-for-5 with two punchouts Friday...Sabathia made his ninth
career Opening Day start and fourth with New York...The Rays are without
closer Kyle Farnsworth, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore
04/06 23:04:37 ET