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Phelps blanks Rays before Yanks rally to tie

Righty hurls five scoreless innings as club pulls even on wild pitch in ninth

TAMPA, Fla. -- James Loney stroked a seventh-inning double and pinch-runner Kevin Kiermaier scored on a throwing error to open the scoring as the Rays and Yankees played to a 3-3 tie on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Loney opened the inning with a ground-rule double to left off Yankees reliever Bruce Billings, then was pinch-run for by Kiermaier, who came around to score when Billings wildly threw to first base on a Sean Rodriguez sacrifice bunt. Ryan Hanigan then added an RBI single to drive in Rodriguez.

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The Rays scored their other run on a Mikie Mahtook RBI single in the eighth. The Yankees scored on a Brian Roberts sacrifice fly in the seventh, an error in the eighth and tied the game on a wild pitch in the ninth.

Yankees right-hander David Phelps turned in a strong outing as he continues to battle for the final spot in New York's rotation, blanking the Rays on three hits over five innings.

"It's fun. They sent some of their big guys over, so it's always good," Phelps said. "Guys who have seen me before, it helps me because I can see how my stuff is playing this time, because they've seen my stuff. I'm just trying to get a better feel about how I want to pitch to them."

Phelps, who is vying for position against Michael Pineda, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno, walked none and struck out one in the outing. He threw 38 of 59 pitches for strikes.

Rays right-hander Chris Archer hurled 3 1/3 scoreless frames, allowing just two hits, as he tunes up for an expected spot in Tampa Bay's rotation. Archer walked none and struck out two, tossing 31 of 49 pitches for strikes.

"I felt like I had sustained output as far as my stuff, it was good every inning," Archer said. "I used more changeups. They went with a left-heavy lineup and I was successful against some really, really top-notch hitters, so I was happy to go out there and execute pitches."

Yankees right-hander Dellin Betances set the Rays down in the sixth inning around a double, giving Betances 6 1/3 scoreless innings this spring as he fights for a bullpen job.

Up next: The Yankees have their first off-day of the spring on Monday and return to action on Tuesday against the Nationals in Viera, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. CC Sabathia (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to make his second spring start for New York, with Jordan Zimmerman (0-0, 0.00) getting the ball for Washington. The Yankees' travel squad for the game includes Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, David Phelps