The Yankees finished their nine game road trip 5-4 with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.  Since losing the first series of the year to Baltimore, the Yankees have won the next two, topping the Rays and the Kansas City Royals.  Since losing their first two, the Yankees are 5-2.

The Yankees overcame a 3-2 deficit in the top of the eighth on doubles by Captain Clutch (Derek Jeter) and Johnny Damon.  Damon’s double scored Jeter to even the score at 3-3.  Cody Ransom had a double to right-center to start off the ninth inning and with two outs, Jeter hit a single, scoring Ransom to take the lead.

Andy Pettitte was on the mound and went 7 and 1/3 inings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk.  Pettitte was efficient, throwing 96 pitches.  He seemed calm and in control of his pitches for most the afternoon.  62 pitches were thrown for strikes and he struck out 4.

However, since the game was tied in the eighth and won in the ninth, Brian Bruney got the win.   Bruney followed his three straight strikeouts in the ninth last night with two straight strikeouts in the eighth to finish the inning for Pettitte.

Mariano Rivera then appeared for the first time in what feels like a week and preserved the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Offensively, the Yankees were 3-9 with runners in scoring position, and did not make it happen when it counted.  Mark Teixeira struck out looking three times and left three runners in scoring position.  It looked as if he was a little hesitant to swing at times, perhaps as a result of soreness and inflammation in his left wrist.

Robinson Cano was especially impressive this game, and the only reason I don’t name him Player of the Game is because of Captain Clutch hitting 2 clutch hits to score the tying run and knock in the winning run.  Cano also batted 2-4 on the night and got the Yanks on the board with a 2 run homerun in the 4th.  He was impressive in the field as well, snagging a ball in shallow right field in an amazing fashion.  Try to catch the highlight on SportsCenter if you can.

Today’s game ended up starting several minutes late because of  a power outage at Tropicana Field.  Also, every player in baseball today wore number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.  The number is retired by every team.  Mariano Rivera is the only player in the bigs who can wear it because it was his number when baseball retired it.

Player of the Game: Captain Clutch (2-4, 1 BB, 1 Run, 1 RBI)

Honorable Mention: Robinson Cano (2-4, 1 Run, 2 RBI)

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