|Date of game: 9/10/2014
Recap: NY Yankees vs. Tampa Bay
Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brian McCann knocked in three runs on a pair of hits and the New York Yankees overcame a rough start to post a much-needed 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Both McCann and Chris Young belted solo homers, while the Yankees received outstanding work from their bullpen in erasing a 4-0 first-inning deficit and halting a two-game skid.
After Chris Capuano was rocked for four runs while recording just a single out, five New York relievers combined to allow just one over 8 2/3 innings of work. Preston Claiborne (3-0) earned the victory with a pair of scoreless frames.
"Just an outstanding job by all the guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They came in and they threw strikes and they made pitches and gave us a chance to come back."
The bullpen's effort also helped the Yankees gain some ground in the American League Wild Card race after Detroit lost to Kansas City Wednesday. Still, New York trails the Tigers by 4 1/2 games and must leap a few other teams to nab the final playoff spot.
Young finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and Chase Headley had two hits while knocking in one run for the Yankees. Mark Teixeira drove in the go-ahead run with a fifth-inning triple off Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi (10-12) failed to hold the early lead, lasting just 4 1/3 innings and surrendering six runs on five hits and three walks.
"I'm solely to blame for tonight. This loss is on me," Odorizzi said afterward. "The whole team can point the finger in this direction and I'll accept it. We had a four-run lead and I gave it up. And that's unacceptable."
Evan Longoria homered and Wil Myers and Yunel Escobar both recorded two hits and an RBI for Tampa Bay, which won Tuesday's opener of this three-game series by a 4-3 margin and had prevailed in five straight visits to Yankee Stadium.
McCann's solo blast in the opening inning was all Odorizzi allowed through the first two frames, but the right-hander struggled in the third as the Yankees began to climb back in it.
Young led off with a single and Jacoby Ellsbury later drew a walk before both advanced another base on an error by Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan and a steal of second, respectively. McCann sent the two home with a sharp two-out single to center to trim Tampa Bay's lead to 4-3.
New York pulled even an inning later courtesy of Young's first homer as a Yankee, then reached Odorizzi for two more runs in the fifth to surge ahead.
McCann was hit by a pitch in front of Teixeira's tie-breaking triple into the right-field corner that chased Odorizzi in favor of Jeff Beliveau, who was greeted by a Headley single that put the Yankees up 6-4.
Two more Yankees crossed the plate in the eighth, with Ichiro Suzuki scoring Headley with a double and coming around on a two-bagger from Young.
Though shut down by New York's relief corps, the Rays did plenty of damage against Capuano in the lefty's brief stint. Ben Zobrist began the game with a single and Longoria walked with one out prior to Myers' double down the left- field line that promptly staked the Rays to a 1-0 edge.
A walk to James Loney preceded Escobar's base hit that plated Myers and an RBI single from Logan Forsythe on Capuano's final pitch. Loney scored on Hanigan's sacrifice fly that capped the four-run outburst.
Chase Whitley and Claiborne stabilized things for New York, however, by teaming up for a combined 4 2/3 innings. Adam Warren and Dellin Betances followed with three scoreless innings to protect what was then a two-run lead before the Yankees increased the margin in the eighth.
"That's what they've been doing all year," said McCann. "They've been consistent all year long for us and we felt if we had the lead and get the ball to them we're going to win that game."
Longoria finally ended Tampa Bay's scoring drought with a two-out homer off Esmil Rogers in the ninth.Game Notes
Zobrist's first-inning single was his 1,000th career hit. He joined Carl
Crawford as the only players in Rays history to reach the milestone while
solely a member of the franchise ... Derek Jeter participated in his 2,731st
game as a Yankee, the most by any player for a New York team. Mel Ott of the
New York Giants played in 2,730 ... McCann has hit 16 of his 18 homers this
season at Yankee Stadium ... New York's Carlos Beltran was scratched from the
lineup due to right elbow soreness ... Odorizzi had thrown a combined 14 1/3
scoreless innings over his previous two starts.