Well, at least we can say we got that first big loss out of the way early. The Yanks got spanked by the Rays in the series opener in Tampa on Friday, 9-3.
The first three innings were swift, with a couple hits and walks from both teams. In the fourth, Nick Johnson got his first hit of the season, coming against Rays lefty David Price. Alex Rodriguez drove himself and Johnson in on a triple off the wall in center. The throw from catcher Dioner Navarro attempting to throw Rodriguez out at third sailed into the outfield, allowing A-Rod to score on the RBI Triple and Error. The Rays would sting Javier Vazquez, making his Yankee debut in his second stint, in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff walk to Ben Zobrist led to a bomb home run from Carlos Peña. After a BJ Upton single and steal, Dioner Navarro broke the tie with an RBI single. After another single, Jason Bartlett drove in two runs with a double. (Score after 4: Rays 5, Yankees 2).
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Tampa unleashed on Vazquez again. A leadoff double by BJ Upton was followed by a Willy Aybar home run, making it 7-2. Jason Bartlett was then issued a two-out walk, and so ended the night for Javy Vazquez. Sergio Mitre was brought on in relief for his season debut, and actually looked pretty solid. Bartlett stole second, leading to a Carl Crawford RBI single, followed by a Ben Zobrist RBI Double. (Score after 6: Rays 9, Yanks 2).
Nick Johnson finally started hitting the ball, and drove in Derek Jeter with an RBI double in the eighth. The Yanks went down quietly for the rest of the game.
Game MVP: David Price
- For some reason, Joe Girardi insisted on starting Marcus Thames yet again, after his stellar performance in Boston against the lefty Jon Lester. This time, it was against the lefty David Price, and he barely showed improvement, going 1-3 with no run production. Why bench Brett Gardner, clearly an outfielder of the future, where he could clearly use work hitting both righties and lefties? Instead, Joe starts the older, (much) slower, better power and average contact hitting righty Thames, and in the eighth spot? I thought the purpose of signing Thames was a spark against lefties off the bench, and an occassional sub in the outfield. My hope is that this better not become a routine.
- Every hitter in the Rays lineup had at least one hit
- Mark Teixiera is still HITLESS (0/16), tying the longest hitless streak in his career to start a season.
- Upton: 2/4 2 R 2 SB
- N. Johnson: 2/5 1 RBI 1 R
- Price: 7.2 IP 7 H 3 ER 3 BB 7 K
- Vazquez: 5.2 IP 8 H 8 ER 3 BB 5 K 2 HR
- Mitre: 2.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 K
- W: Price (1-0) L: Vazquez (0-1)
Around the AL East:
-Kansas City: 4, Boston: 3
-Toronto: 7, Baltimore: 6