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)

First-place Tampa Bay Rays rally with five in sixth to beat slumping New York Yankees 6-5

ST. PETERSBURG — His Rays down 5-1 halfway through Monday's game with the Yankees, and admittedly a bit staggered by it, manager Joe Maddon saw opportunity.

He turned to bench coach Dave Martinez and told him they would snap their history-threatening streak of not scoring more than five runs in a home game — second longest at 22 games to the 1908 Brooklyn Superbas — and end up with a victory in the process.

"We had to score at least six," Maddon said. "And if we scored at least six, the Superbas are in our dust."

Maddon nailed it exactly right as the Rays — behind home runs from Sam Fuld (yes, Sam Fuld) and B.J. Upton and dazzling work from the bullpen — scored a 6-5 win. Tim Jordan, Tommy Sheehan, John Hummell and the other members of that 1908 squad that was a forerunner to the Dodgers would have never seen it coming as the Rays rallied for five runs in the sixth inning alone.

Neither did the Yankees, who collapsed to their sixth straight loss, their longest skid since 2007.

"We're going through a really rough stretch right now," manager Joe Girardi said. "It seems like when things start to go your way, they turn around a little bit. This is where you are tested as a team. And you have to fight through it."

The Rays, who improved to 24-17 and opened a three-game AL East lead, felt pretty good about how they acquitted themselves.

"You've got to teach yourself a lesson now and then, and I think tonight we taught ourselves a lesson," Maddon said. "You get down by four runs, you have not been scoring well. But that is major-league baseball at its finest right there. If you keep on plugging, you've got the kind of people that could turn this thing around, and they did tonight."

Tropicana Field — alive Monday with a loud crowd of 25,024 — had not provided much of a homefield advantage for the Rays, who hadn't been scoring or winning much under the tilted roof. That, too, was part of the satisfaction as they staged their biggest comeback of the season.

"I think it does say something as much as we scuffled here and to be able to come back against those guys," Upton said.

The night didn't look promising, not with ace David Price knocked out after five — and allowing his first homer to a lefty (Curtis Granderson) in nearly two years. But the Rays put into practice their theory of never giving up, and it paid off.

The bullpen stopped the Yankees, with Juan Cruz allowing just a single to start the sixth, then Joel Peralta and former Yankee Kyle Farns­worth teaming to get the final nine outs in order.

"That's almost unheard of vs. the Yankees," Maddon said.

And the offense, limited to a Johnny Damon homer over five innings, kicked in in the sixth.

After John Jaso doubled, Fuld — whose 8-for-71 skid was primarily the result of hitting too many balls in the air — hit one on a line that went just over the rightfield wall. It was the third homer of his career and second this season, not much different than the ball he tucked around the Pesky Pole in Boston.

"With my size I never know," Fuld said. "But that one felt pretty good."

Singles by Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce and a couple of wild pitches by A.J. Burnett made it 5-4 with a man on second, and then Upton mashed a curveball over the leftfield wall.

The Rays were ahead to stay. And the Superbas? As Maddon said, "In our dust."

First-place Tampa Bay Rays rally with five in sixth to beat slumping New York Yankees 6-5 05/16/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 4:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]