Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - James Loney's RBI single with two out in the top of the 13th inning knocked in the deciding run and enabled the Tampa Bay Rays to avoid a series sweep by the New York Yankees with a 3-2 victory.
Steven Souza walked with one out in the 13th against New York's Chasen Shreve (1-1), who was in his second inning of relief. After Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out to move Souza to second, Evan Longoria was intentionally walked to set up a force play and get a lefty-lefty matchup against Loney, who fought off a 3-2 pitch for a single to shallow right that was fielded by Stephen Drew, but his throw home was late and Souza scored to put the Rays in front.
"It's definitely a tough situation there," Drew said. "I did the best I could to get to it, but unfortunately just no shot to get him."
The hit made a winner out of Brandon Gomes (1-1), who tossed two scoreless innings before Ernesto Frieri kept New York off the board in the bottom of the 13th for his second save.
"Our bullpen, what they did today, they all stood out," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
New York's Alex Rodriguez remains one homer shy of tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list. The slugger, who was suspended all of last season for steroid use, went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and remains stuck on 659 home runs for his career.
As a team, the Yankees struck out a total of 16 times against Tampa Bay pitching, including 15 through the first 7 2/3 innings.
Leading the way for the Rays staff was starter Drew Smyly with 10 strikeouts. In just his second start of the season after missing time at the start of the season with shoulder tendinitis, the left-hander yielded just two runs on four hits, walking one, over six innings.
Reliever Steve Geltz came on for Smyly and struck out all five of the batters he faced and the rest of the bullpen tossed no-hit ball for five innings before Jacoby Ellsbury led off the 11th with a base hit against Brad Boxberger. However, Gomes came on from Boxberger to retire Chris Young, Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to end the inning.
Carlos Beltran then led off the 12th with a base hit against Gomes and was lifted for pinch-runner Brett Gardner. Pinch-hitter Brian McCann was then hit by a pitch to put a runner in scoring position, but Drew flew out and Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the threat.
The New York pitching was just as good. Starting pitcher Michael Pineda went 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on six hits, striking out five without walking a batter. The bullpen followed by retiring 14 straight to keep the game close.
The Rays got going in the fourth inning, using a two-out rally to get to Pineda. After Loney and Logan Forsythe came through with consecutive singles, Kevin Kiermaier tripled to right field to chase both runners home.
Chase Headley got one of the runs back for the Yankees in the fifth with his third homer of the season. Young later tied the game in the sixth with his solo homer, his fifth of the season.
The Rays halted a string of six straight losses to New York, five of which took place this season ... Ellsbury ended 3-for-6 ... Kiermaier finished 2- for-4 with two RBI ... Smyly continued a career unbeaten stretch against AL East teams, having gone 6-0 in 22 career appearances (11 starts) versus Tampa Bay's divisional foes ... Tampa Bay improved to 9-0 this season when scoring first.