Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

B.J. Upton hits for the cycle as Tampa Bay Rays rout New York Yankees 13-4

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays did not stop the Yankees from taking the American League East this season, but in Friday's 13-4 victory, they spoiled what would have been a special night for their ace, CC Sabathia.

And in preventing Sabathia from picking up his 20th win, the Rays made some history of their own as B.J. Upton became the first in club history to hit for the cycle, racking up a career-high six RBIs and drawing a standing ovation from the Tropicana Field crowd of 22,704.

Upton said it was the first time, at any level, he had hit for the cycle — single, double, triple, home run — adding you don't swing for it, you just try to put together good at-bats.

"That was phenomenal," starter David Price said. "Hopefully, he can carry that into next year. The way he was swinging the bat is what everybody saw in the postseason last year."

Sabathia, the Yankees' $161 million left-hander, had won nine of his past 11 starts — with his last loss coming to the Rays at the Trop on July 28. Friday, Tampa Bay battered Sabathia, who matched a career high by giving up nine runs, eight hits and five walks in 22/3 innings, his second shortest outing of the season.

"We just ambushed him," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Sabathia didn't have his typical fastball command, saying it was one of those tough nights.

"It's one of those things," he said. "The past couple years (the Rays) hit me pretty well."

And some of the Rays' biggest hits against Sabathia (19-8) came with two outs. In the first, Upton delivered the huge blow for Tampa Bay (83-77), a bases-clearing triple to right-center, a liner that got past the outstretched glove of Robinson Cano at second and a diving Nick Swisher in right.

"That was absolutely scalded," Maddon said.

That was more than enough for Price (10-7), who mixed all of his pitches well in giving up just one run in seven innings.

"It was good to have probably some of the best stuff I had all year in my last start," Price said.

For the Rays offense, Upton was the star of the show, going 5-for-5. After his triple in the first, he doubled in the third and ripped a two-run homer in the fourth, just his second homer in his past 32 games.

Then in the fifth, Upton sealed his cycle with a two-out single to rightfield, scoring Gabe Kapler from second. As Upton stood on first, fans chanted "B.J! B.J.! B.J!" and Upton pointed to the Rays dugout, acknowledging his teammates who were cheering from the top step.

"It was definitely comforting," Upton said. "We're a family together here. We stick together. To get that kind of applause feels good."

It was undoubtedly a special moment for the 25-year-old Upton, who was maligned for much of this year due to his struggles at the plate as he tried to come back from offseason shoulder surgery.

But Upton is finishing on a high note, including his career night Friday, with his six RBIs equaling his total from his previous 14 games, his five hits setting a career high and his cycle putting him in the Rays record book.

To top it off, Upton's mother, Yvonne, got to watch him complete the feat.

Upton smiled and said, "I might have to bring her back."

Rays 13

Yankees 4

B.J. Upton hits for the cycle as Tampa Bay Rays rout New York Yankees 13-4 10/02/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Red state: Yes, Bill O'Reilly is a Bucs fan

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- The question was simple enough for Bucs fans: Why is former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly wearing a red Bucs polo?

    O'Reilly was wearing the polo during a few video clips from his "No Spin News" podcast posted on his website Monday, which was exciting news for some Bucs fans and not-so-exciting …

    Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly was sporting a red Bucs polo during his "No Spin News" video podcast Monday. An assistant said the shirt was given to him by former Bucs tight end Dave Moore.
  2. For starters: Slumping LoMo, Dickerson not in Rays lineup tonight vs LHP

    Blogs

    1B Logan Morrison and LF Corey Dickerson, two of the main slumpers in the Rays lineup, are not in tonight's lineup with the Orioles throwing LHP Wade Miley.

    Logan Morrison is 0-for-12 on this homestand.
  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst

    Blogs

    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Rank the top 10 Bucs players? Here's what fans said

    Blogs

    We mentioned this morning that is was a fun challenge, in response to Sports Illustrated's ranking of the NFL's top 400 players, to ask fans to rank their top 10 Bucs players.

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans celebrates with quarterback Jameis Winston during last year's Bucs win against the Seahawks. Evans and Winston finished 1-2 in an informal Twitter poll of fans ranking their top Bucs players.
  5. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.

    Storm

    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]