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American League Game Summary - Tampa Bay at New York
(Sunday, June 23rd)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, New York 1
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - James Loney's tie-breaking, two-run single with two outs in the top of the seventh inning lifted the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-1 victory over the New York Yankees and a split of a four-game series between the AL East foes.
Loney finished 3-for-4 on the afternoon, while Ben Zobrist contributed an RBI single and Chris Archer turned in six sharp innings to help the Rays bounce back from two straight losses after taking Thursday's opener.
"We've done that several times this year, with what appeared to be a devastating loss we come back the next day and play well and you win in a very difficult venue," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "So I'm really proud of the way the guys handle these moments."
Archer (2-3) did his part by limiting the Yankees to a run on six hits with one walk to earn his third career major league win and first in five road starts.
Ivan Nova (2-2), called up from the minors to make his first big league start since April 26 for New York, allowed just one run through the first six innings as well, but hit a pair of batters with two out in the seventh that eventually scored on Loney's hit off Boone Logan.
Brett Gardner went 3-for-4 and scored the Yankees' lone run, with Zoilo Almonte collecting a pair of doubles in the setback.
Nova retired the initial two hitters of the seventh in his longest and most effective outing of the season, but hit Desmond Jennings and Zobrist in succession and was removed in favor of Shawn Kelley, who walked Evan Longoria on five pitches to load the bases.
Logan was called upon to face the left-handed Loney, and the first baseman drilled a 1-2 pitch up the middle to plate Jennings and Zobrist and break the stalemate.
The Yankees didn't mount a base runner over their final two at-bats, with Tampa closer Fernando Rodney fanning the side in order in the ninth to notch his 15th save of the season.
Both starting pitchers were touched for a run in the opening inning, but kept it a 1-1 game until the seventh by impressively working out of a number of tough spots.
The Yankees had two on with one out in the fourth when Almonte stroked a double and Jayson Nix was hit with a pitch, but Archer was able to get David Adams to bounce into a double play to end the inning.
"What we've seen, he had been pretty wild," said Nix of Archer. "We got a lot of pitches out of him in the first inning, but he seemed to settle down. So you've got to give him some credit."
Nova struck out the side around a walk and a Jennings single in the fifth, then beared down and induced a double-play grounder from the slow-footed Jose Molina an inning later after the Rays had loaded the bases with one out on a pair of hits and a walk.
"I saw the same pitcher, I just saw a different attitude," Yankees catcher Chris Stewart said of Nova. "His stuff is the same, it's just how he went about it today. He was determined to throw strikes and force them to put the ball in play. He was really good out there."
Tampa Bay took an early 1-0 edge when Matt Joyce began the contest with a single, took second on Jennings' sac bunt, and scored on Zobrist's opposite- field base hit.
The Yankees drew even in their half of the inning, however. Gardner singled and moved up a base when Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson mishandled the ball on the play, then raced to third on a wild pitch before coming home on Robinson Cano's sacrifice fly.
The Yankees held their 67th annual Old Timers Day prior to the game, with Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson among those in attendance ... Loney leads the AL with a .364 average on the road ... Archer had been 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA in six career road appearances (four starts), while Nova entered the matchup 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts against the Rays at Yankee Stadium ... The Rays started four rookies (Archer twice, Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome) on the mound during the road trip, marking the first time the club had done so in a 7-game span since September of 2009 (David Price, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis) ... Almonte finished the series 7-for-11 with a homer and four RBI.
06/23 20:16:12 ET