Russell Martin got the Yankees on the scoreboard in the top of the third with a solo homer. The Yankees had a chance to take the lead as Brett Gardner drew a walk and stole second. With two outs, the Rays intentionally walked Cano. Alex Rodriguez walked to load the bases, but Mark Teixeira flew out, ending the threat.
The Yankees rallied again in the top of the fifth as Gardner and Nunez hit back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. Curtis Granderson hit into a double play, but allowed Gardner to score, tying the game at 2-2. The Pinstripes continued their rally in the sixth, as Rodriguez worked another walk and Teixeira doubled. A RBI double from Nick Swisher put New York ahead 3-2, but once again they missed a chance at extra runs. Jorge Posada was intentionally walked, loading the bases with no outs. Martin followed with a grounder to third, which turned into the perfect triple play ball as Longoria fielded it while standing on third and sent it around the horn to end the inning. It was the third triple play in Rays history.
Colon pitched into the sixth inning, but was replaced by Cory Wade. Rafael Soriano came into the game in the seventh inning and promptly walked Upton and Longoria. Matt Joyce followed with a big three-run homer and the Rays retook the lead. The Yankees went down in order in the eighth and ninth, giving Tampa Bay a 5-3 win.
Rafael Soriano: Soriano had trouble right from the start, despite being on his old home turf. He gave up three runs on two walks and a hit, before settling down and finishing the inning.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy went 0-4 and stranded three runners. He managed to get one run in, but hit into a double play in the process.
Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada: Cano and Posada both went 0-3 with a walk.
Bartolo Colon: It wasn’t the best outing, but it was an improvement over his last few games and was enough to have the Yankees in the lead when he was pulled from the game. In 5.1 innings, Colon gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks. He had three strikeouts, picked off a runner and also had an throwing error.
Mark Teixeira and Eduardo Nunez: Both went 2-4 and were the only Yankees to have multiple hits. Teixeira had a double.
Brett Gardner: Gardner was 1-3 with a run scored, a walk and his 49th stolen base of the season.
In the On Deck Circle:
As I am writing this, the Yankees have yet to pick a starter for the final game of the season. David Price will be starting for the Rays – so I would be very nervous if I was a Red Sox fan…luckily I am not.