Dean Anna walked with the bases loaded and Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single as part of a four-run 12th inning that helped lead the Yankees to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The win put the Yankees back on track after dropping their last two contests to the Rays by a combined scored of 27-6.
Vidal Nuno made the spot start for the Yankees rather than having Masahiro Tanaka pitch on short rest, and he gave them everything they could have asked for, especially on a day when it was announced that Ivan Nova has a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow, by tossing five shutout innings in the victory.
The 12th inning rally was kicked off by a leadoff walk from Yangervis Solarte against Heath Bell, who was then taken out of the game and replaced by CJ Riefenhauser. After Brett Gardner failed on a couple of bunt attempts, he reached on a fielder's choice and went to third on Brian McCann's two-out single. Jacoby Ellsbury was intentionally walked before Anna checked his swing to complete an eight-pitch at-bat and score the go-ahead run.
Carlos Beltran added two-more runs a batter later against Josh Lueke when he punched a single into left field that scored McCann and Ellsbury. Alfonso Soriano tacked on one more run with an RBI single to cap off the four-run frame.
The Yankees had taken a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning of the game when Brett Gardner doubled off the very top of the right field wall against Rays starter Cesar Ramos. The ball was originally ruled an out after umpires thought that Will Myers actually went up to make the catch, but replays showed that the ball bounced off the wall, and into Myers glove. So they gave Gardner an RBI double.
The Run was enough support to back up Nuno through his five innings of work. The fast-working lefty limited the Rays to just three hits and a walk, while striking out six. I'm not Joe Girardi, but I'd give Nuno after start after his solid effort today.
Nuno gave way to David Phelps, who pitched the 6th and one batter into the 7th inning, setting down all four batters he faced. Matt Thornton faced two batters in the 7th, giving up a hit a retiring the second. Adam Warren came in and gave up a single to Yunel Escobar to load the bases, then Matt Joyce hit a sac-fly to right field, giving James Loney just enough time to beat the throw to the plate, tying the game at 1-1.
Things got pretty quite after that on the offensive side of the ball. Warren ended up throwing 1.2 inning, giving up one hits. Shawn Kelley pitched two scoreless inning in the 9th and 10th, issuing nothing except two walks. And Preston Claiborne, making his first appearance of the year after being called up Sunday, tossed the final two innings, holding Tampa just one hit and a walk -- he picked up the win.
Luckily the Yankees will have Monday off after playing four hours and twenty-eight minutes today. The next time they take the field will be in Boston on Tuesday, when Masahiro Tanaka faces the Red Sox for the very first time. First pitch for that game at Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.