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Opening Day live blog: Rays vs. Yankees



Update 6:54 p.m. The Rays pull off a wild, walkoff win, scoring twice off Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera in the ninth to win 7-6.


And it was first baseman Carlos Pena who was the star. Pena, who hit a grand slam in the first inning, came up with the bases loaded in the ninth and hit a game-winning single to the left-center wall to score Zobrist from third.

Down one run entering the ninth, Desmond Jennings led off with a single and then Ben Zobrist tripled to tie the game at 6-6. Rivera intentionally walked Evan Longoria and Luke Scott to load the bases, then used a five-man infield. Sean Rodriguez struck out, before Pena's heroics.

Update 6:36 p.m. The Rays blew another golden opportunity in the eighth, having put runners on first and third with no outs and failing to score against reliever David Robertson.

With back to back singles by Sean Rodriguez and Carlos Pena - who singled through the shift at short - they had something going. But pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt, in his first big-league at-bat, struck out looking. C Jose Molina first missed a squeeze bunt sign, then tried to bunt with two strikes and fouled it off for another K.

Then Matt Joyce struck out looking, his fourth of the game.

The Rays are now 0-for-5 with runners on third base and less than two outs today. Their 7-through-9 hitters are a combined 0-for-11 with 6 Ks.

Yankees 6, Rays 5

Update 6:12 p.m. The Yankees come up with another rally in the eighth.

RHP Joel Peralta, one of the options at closer, walked the first two hitters he faced, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera, despite getting ahead in the count 1-2 to both.

Peralta did the same thing to Nick Swisher, but then struck him out with a fastball on a 3-2 pitch.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (bottom 8th)

Update 5:57 p.m. DH Luke Scott made his Rays debut in the seventh, pinch-hitting for Jeff Keppinger with one on and one out. But Scott grounded into an inning-ending 3-6 double play.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (top 8th)

Update 5:38 p.m In typical Joe Maddon fashion, he's used up a chunk of his bullpen over two innings.

Maddon pulled RHP Wade Davis after retiring three of the four hitters he faced, with RHP Burke Badenhop facing one hitter - Russell Martin - who reached base when Longoria booted a ground ball. That led to a jam as LHP Jake McGee, who came in for Badenhop, walked Brett Gardner to load the bases for Derek Jeter.

But McGee rebounded nicely, getting Jeter to ground out to end the inning.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (bottom 7th)

Update 5:14 p.m RHP James Shields outing was done after five, having allowed six runs on nine hits on 104 pitches.

But the Rays bullpen looks sharp so far, with LHP J.P. Howell getting Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano to hit weak pop-outs, and RHP Wade Davis retiring Alex Rodriguez on popout to short.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (bottom sixth)

Update 5:01 p.m The Rays get a rally started in the fifth, with Evan Longoria picking up his third hit of the game, a single, then hustling to third on a bloop single by Jeff Keppinger.

Sean Rodriguez then tried the Rays trademark bunt with runners on first and third, but his short bunt in front of the plate only allowed Keppinger to reach second. That brings up Carlos Pena, with another big RBI opportunity.

But Pena struck out swinging, and Elliot Johnson lined out to third and the Rays get nothing.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (top sixth)

Update 4:36 p.m. RHP James Shields labors again in the fourth, allowing the bases loaded again, but battles his way out of it, getting Raul Ibanez to ground out to thwart the threat.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (bottom fourth)

Update 4:23 p.m. The Rays get a run back, on a solo homer by Evan Longoria in the third. They had another opportunity, with two on and one out for Pena, but he struck out swinging.

Yankees 6, Rays 5 (4th inning)

Update 4:08 p.m. The Rays lead is now gone, as Shields allows a three-run homer to Yankees DH Raul Ibanez, who rips one into the rightfield seats.

The Yankees have now scored four times in the top of the third to take a 6-4 lead.

All of a sudden, Carlos Pena's grand slam seems like a long time ago.

Yankees 6, Rays 4

Update 4:07 p.m. Shields is in trouble again in the third, giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning.

After Teixeira popped out, Swisher hit a hard grounder to first, with Pena making a great stop. But Pena's throw was a little left of home plate, and Cano made a great slide to score, cutting the Rays lead to 4-3.

Update 3:52 p.m In one of the more critical at-bats of the game - so far - Shields strikes out CF Curtis Granderson on three pitches to end the top of the second, stranding the bases loaded.

Rays 4, Yankees 2

Update 3:45 p.m. The Yankees add another run when RHP James Shields throws a wild pitch on a walk to Russell Martin, allowing Teixeira to score from third.

It could have easily been called a pass ball, as while the ball was in the dirt, it bounced off C Jose Molina's right cleat.

Shields hasn't looked impressive today, getting hit pretty well - even on some of the outs - and now gets an early visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey.

Rays 4, Yankees 2

Update 3:41 p.m. RHP James Shields got himself into a jam in the second inning, giving up a leadoff double to Alex Rodriguez and hitting 1B Mark Teixeira with a pitch.

Two groundouts later, the Yankees get on the board.

Rays 4, Yankees 1 (2nd inning)

Update 3:35 p.m.:  1B Carlos Pena, in his first at-bat back as a Ray, works a full count, then rips a grand slam over the rightfield fence, making it 4-0 Rays.

With the crowd on its feet, Pena then came out for a curtain call.

Pena was originally scheduled to bat 7th in the order, but manager Joe Maddon said he had a "midnight epiphany," to move him up to sixth, figuring it'd impact the Yankees ability to manipulate their bullpen late.

It was Pena's eight grand slam of his career.

Rays 4, Yankees 0

Update 3:32: CF Desmond Jennings starts the first with a leadoff walk off CC Sabathia. With one out, Evan Longoria singles him over to second.

Jeff Keppinger, whom manager Joe Maddon hit in the cleanup spot because of his contact ability, grounded out to short on a hit-and run, putting runners on second and third with two outs.

The Yankees then intentionally walked SS Sean Rodriguez to load the bases for Pena, who was 4-for-35 in his career against Sabathia

Update 3:18: Yankees SS Derek Jeter works a great at-bat leading off the game, working a full count on RHP James Shields before singling to center.

The Rays then used a modified shift on left-handed hitting CF Curtis Granderson, who hit a sharp grounder to the right of second, and SS Sean Rodriguez started a 6-3 double play.

Shields got out of the inning unscathed, but threw 20 pitches.

Update 3:14. Pre-game had a lot of pomp and circumstance, with a video montage illustrating the Rays win in Game 162, and then the raising of the 2011 Wild Card banner.

1B Carlos Pena got the loudest ovation during the starting lineup announcements.


[Last modified: Sunday, May 6, 2012 12:40am]


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