BY: John Mamola
The Yankees captain does it again in Tampa Bay as Derek Jeter’s RBI single in the top of the ninth was the deciding factor in a 3-2 New York Yankees win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. A sellout crowd of 31,402 was treated to an old fashioned pitchers duel at Tropicana Field as Rays starter Drew Smyly and Yankees starter Shane Greene went toe to toe as both hurlers went deep into the game as both offenses struggled for any offensive production throughout the game.
The pinstripes were able to bust through on the scoreboard with two outs in the second inning as Martin Prado blasted his seventh home run of the season into the left field bleachers giving New York a 2-0 lead. With the home run it extended a MLB record of 2,516 games where the Yankees were not shut out in back to back games.
The Rays weren’t able to answer back against Greene till the sixth inning when Yunel Escobar two out RBI single cut the Yankees lead to 2-1. Tampa Bay tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Ben Zobrist ground out to first base scoring Logan Forsythe from third base.
The final two frames were a battle of bullpens as each team sent a high heat hurler to the mound to finish the inning. Rays reliever Brad Boxberger and Yankees reliever Dellin Betances worked scoreless eighth innings, till Jake McGee came to work in the ninth and the tie imploded.
A lead off infield single by Brent Gardner turned into a runner in scoring position play as Gardner advanced to second base on an error by Forsythe. Derek Jeter came to the plate for a fourth time in the game with another standing ovation from the sellout crowd, and delivered with an RBI single to right center scoring Gardner giving New York a 3-2 lead.
David Robinson came in and sealed his 32nd save of the season in the ninth inning.
The Rays will look to take the rubber match of the series tomorrow at Tropicana Field as Jeremy Hellickson takes the mound against Hiroki Kuroda. You can catch all the action on WDAE beginning at 1:00pm Pre-Game and a 1:40pm first pitch.