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The pitching of David Price and a pair of two-run homers led the Tampa Bay Rays over the Yankees on Friday night, 9-3.  Price allowed three runs and seven hits in a career-best 7 2/3 innings. Carlos Pena and Willy Aybar hit the two-run home runs.

Javier Vazquez got the start for the Yankees and for the first three innings was effective, but in the bottom of the fourth, Jason Bartlett started the offensive surge for the 3-1 Rays. Carl Crawford, Dioner Navarro and Ben Zobrist also drove in runs for the Rays.

Alex Rodriguez had a RBI triple in the top of the fourth for the Yankees, who were limited to four hits until Derek Jeter and Nick Johnson doubled to open the eighth, producing New York’s third run. Price gave up an infield single to Robinson Cano and walked Jorge Posada to load the bases. Lance Cormier replaced Price and struck out Nick Swisher to get out of the jam.

A-Rod’s triple scored home Nick Johnson, who got his first hit of the season before A-Rod’s at-bat, and Rodriguez scored when Dionner Navarro threw erratically, producing an “in-the-park-homer”. That was all the Yankees could do until the 8th inning.

Price was simply the better pitcher tonight. The Yankees have batted .123 against Price since his debut in 2007 and they simply need to find a better way to perform against him.

Saturday’s game is at 3:10pm and features CC Sabathia in his second start of the season against Wade Davis, making his first start of 2010. I’m feeling the Yankees will rebound and get this one.

(AP photo of David Price)

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