Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bullpen helps Tampa Bay Rays beat New York Yankees 7-6

ST. PETERSBURG — Carlos Peña was the biggest star of the Rays' 7-6 walkoff victory over the Yankees on Friday.

But an all-hands-on-deck effort by the bullpen helped save the day, six relievers combining for four hitless innings.

"That's who you have to give all the credit to," Rays shortstop Sean Rodriguez said. "Without them putting up those zeroes, we don't have a chance."

Said catcher Jose Molina: "That's why we won the game."

Starter James Shields, who allowed six runs over five innings, said the bullpen "picked up the slack."

Without closer Kyle Farnsworth, who is on the disabled list, the Rays went by committee. Every reliever except the recently called up Josh Lueke pitched.

"Down there, it's like everybody wants the ball, no matter the situation," veteran right-hander Joel Peralta said.

Lefty J.P. Howell has said he finally has his confidence and health back after 2010 shoulder surgery, and it looked that way Friday. He retired left-handed hitting sluggers Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano on infield popouts. Howell got Granderson on a curveball, Cano on an inside fastball.

"I felt really good," he said.

Wade Davis, moved to the bullpen after losing out on the fifth starter spot during the spring, then delivered a solid first appearance, retiring three of the four batters he faced between the sixth and seventh.

"It was good to get that first one in there," he said.

With one on and two out in the seventh, Rays manager Joe Maddon summoned sinkerballer Burke Badenhop, who was acquired in the offseason from the Marlins. Badenhop did his job, getting catcher Russell Martin to hit a grounder to third, but Evan Longoria bobbled it for an error.

That's when hard-throwing lefty Jake McGee came in to face the lefty Brett Gardner. Though McGee walked Gardner to load the bases, he bounced back to get Derek Jeter to ground out.

Each of McGee's three outs came on sliders, an encouraging sign for him as he tries to develop a secondary pitch to complement his mid 90s fastball.

"That's big," McGee said. "It's a difference from last year already."

Peralta took over for McGee with one out in the eighth but had a tough, 23-pitch outing, walking both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera after getting ahead 1-and-2. He did the same with Nick Swisher before striking him out on a 90 mph fastball.

"I just kept battling," Peralta said.

Right-hander Fernando Rodney, a former Tigers and Angels closer, picked up the win in his Rays debut, a 1-2-3 ninth.

"I loved the bullpen," Maddon said.

"I think the pen is going to be one of our strengths."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Bullpen helps Tampa Bay Rays beat New York Yankees 7-6 04/06/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 6, 2012 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The greatest coaches never to win it all


    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams


    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.
  3. With trade freeze over, Lightning could be active


    With the dust settling on the expansion draft saga, the Lightning can now focus on addressing some of its needs.

    The Lightning could target a veteran defenseman on the market, such as MInnesota's Matt Dumba.
  4. NBA draft: Jonathan Isaac could make FSU history tonight


    Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac will probably hear his name called early in tonight's NBA draft.

  5. USF walk-on tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud


    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]