Rays open floodgates on Yanks after close call
Franklin scores decisive run after notching first hit with new club
ST. PETERSBURG -- Sandwiched between the pregame accolades and gifts for Derek Jeter, and the fastball that hit him on the left wrist in the eighth inning, the Rays played one of their better games in recent memory, coming away 6-1 winners over the Yankees on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees' captain got the royal treatment before the game, with the Rays Baseball Foundation presenting his Turn 2 Foundation with a $16,000 check. In addition, the Rays gave Jeter a kayak for his retirement and a framed Don Zimmer jersey, which tugged at the heartstrings given the relationship shared by the pair. All of the good feelings seemed far away once Steve Geltz's fastball plunked Jeter and the Rays had essentially already put the game on ice.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi took to the field to defend Jeter and got ejected. A half-inning later, David Phelps was tossed upon throwing an inside pitch to Kevin Kiermaier that led both benches to clear and resulted in the ejection of Phelps and bench coach Tony Pena, effectively putting a damper on a night that had been a pristine baseball celebration to that point.
"We played so well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was a really, really good game. And combined with last night's win, you have another good win today. And you don't want to see that happen."
Jeter got hit in Thursday's 5-4 Yankees win in New York, as did Chase Headley, who took a Jake McGee fastball off the chin, adding to the fury.
"It's always frustrating, any time you get hit," Jeter said. "You understand it's part of the game, but there's frustration when guys get continually hit, just like there's frustration on their side when their guys get hit."
The Rays (74-78) won for the fourth time in five games while clinching this three-game series and moving to 11-7 against the Yankees this season.
Like most Rays wins, Tuesday's began with the starting pitcher, and Jake Odorizzi was that guy, rebounding nicely from last week's loss in the Bronx, where a pair of home runs led to his undoing.
This time around, Odorizzi came out on top, giving the Rays the 13th quality start of his rookie campaign. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out three in six innings to earn his 11th win of the season.
"Today I got out of jams, the other day I didn't," Odorizzi said. "Just kind of the same outing. But I came out ahead this time and they came out ahead last time."
Trailing, 1-0, in the fifth, the Rays got some help from the Yankees when they benefited from two New York errors. The first came when Kiermaier reached on a throwing error by second baseman Brendan Ryan. After Ryan Hanigan walked, Yankees starter Michael Pineda made the second error while covering first base on Ben Zobrist's chopper. First baseman Brian McCann flipped Pineda the ball, then watched as Pineda played hot potato until finally dropping the ball. Kiermaier scored from second on the play.
Nick Franklin, playing in his first game with the Rays since the July 31 David Price trade involving Seattle and Detroit, started things in the sixth with a one-out double. Franklin moved to third when Matt Joyce walked and the ball briefly eluded Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli. Franklin was initially called out, but Maddon challenged the call, which was overturned. Yunel Escobar then dropped down a bunt, and the sliding Franklin scored easily for a 2-1 Rays lead.
In the seventh, Evan Longoria and Franklin had RBI singles and Wil Myers drove home two with a sacrifice fly. The odd play occurred when the Rays slugger hit a ball to deep center field that Jacoby Ellsbury dove to catch. By the time the ball got returned to the infield, the trail runner, James Loney, had scored from second base to give the Rays a 6-1 lead.
"First of all, it was a great play by Ellsbury and our guy hit the ball really well," Maddon said. "When I saw when he got up, I think that he thought only one run was going to score. ... Loney took advantage of that moment."
Myers, who has had a tough season at the plate, managed a smile about a play that robbed him of extra bases.
"That's about the way my season's gone," Myers said. "But two RBIs, I'll take it."
If Girardi had his way, the second RBI would not have happened. New York's manager was adamant that Loney left early after tagging second base. Whether Loney left early or not could not be reviewed, much to Girardi's chagrin.
"They said he tagged up," Girardi said. "He didn't tag up. I mean, he did, but he left early. And I don't know how you can watch both, so that's a play that I'll ask Major League Baseball why it's not reviewable, because it's hard to watch both."