Yankees 4, Rays 3: Lyle completes comeback win

Al Messerschmidt

Vidal Nuno was the star early, and Lyle Overbay was the star late, as the Yankees picked up an improbable win in Tampa.

When Lyle Overbay walked with two outs in the ninth inning, it didn't look like it would lead to much. The Yankees were down to their last out and their last run had scored eight innings ago. But that walk turned out to be the start of a crazy comeback that gave the Yankees a 4-3 win.

Vidal Nuno got the start for the Yankees, and pitched really well. He threw 6 innings, allowing just five hits and one walk. Two of the Tampa Bay runs are credited to him, but when he left the mound, the game was tied at 1. And when he left the mound, it looked like a crazy comeback might not be necessary. But it was.

With Matt Moore on the mound, the Yankees' offense got on the board quickly. Brett Gardner led off the game with a double. Two batters later, with Gardner at third having moved up on a Cano ground out, Travis Hafner singled to score Gardner. That gave the Yankees an early 1-0 lead.

Nuno did a great job of keeping the Rays off the board for as long as he could. Through the first four innings, Vidal allowed just two baserunners, with only one of them getting in scoring position. But eventually, the Rays tied the game. With one out in the fifth inning, Jose Molina somehow managed to scoot into second with a double. Two batters later, Desmond Jennings doubled to score Molina, and the game was tied.

After another solid inning by Nuno in the sixth, he allowed a lead off single to James Loney to start the seventh. David Adams, who made a couple nice defensive plays earlier in the game, misplayed the ball. Probably could have been ruled an error, but it was credited as a single. That would be it for Vidal, as Girardi went to the bullpen and Shawn Kelley was brought in. Matt Joyce came in and hit a double on a ball that deflected off of Lyle Overbay's glove and into right field. That one also could have been ruled an error, but again it wasn't.

With runners at second and third with no outs, Kelly Johnson came to the plate to hit for Molina. Girardi countered with Boone Logan. Johnson singled off the second pitch from Logan, which scored Loney, making it 2-1 Rays. Yunel Escobar was up next. He grounded one to Jayson Nix at short, who decided to throw home and try and get Joyce at the plate. Catcher Austin Romine applied the tag, but the umpire ruled Joyce safe, making it 3-1. It was a close play, and from certain angles Joyce did look out, but he wasn't and the Rays were further ahead. After that Preston Claiborne was brought in, and he got out of the jam without allowing further damage.

After wasting a Cano lead off walk in the eighth, the Yankees were down to their last out in the ninth inning. Lyle Overbay drew a walk off of Rays' closer Fernando Rodney to keep the game alive. Brennan Boesch was brought in to pinch hit for Austin Romine. After Overbay moved to second, Boesch doubled to score Lyle, cutting the lead to 3-2. Gardner came to the plate next. Gardner looped a single to center field, which scored Boesch. Seemingly out of nowhere, the game was tied.

The Rays very nearly won the game in the bottom of the ninth. David Robertson was brought in to pitch, and gave up a lead off walk to Joyce. Jose Lobaton bunted Joyce over to second, putting the winning run in scoring position. Yunel Escobar was up next, and he hit one into right field. Ichiro made a great sliding catch on the ball. If that ball dropped in for a hit, it mostly likely would've ended the game and given the Rays the win. It didn't and Robertson struck out the next hitter, Jennings, and the game was headed to extras.

The Yankees threatened in the tenth, after Robinson Cano led off with a walk, but the heart of the order couldn't bring him home.

Ivan Nova came in to pitch the 10th inning for the Yankees. Ryan Roberts led off the inning with a single off Nova. After Luke Scott struck out, Evan Longoria singled off Nova, to put the winning run in scoring position. Nova then walked Ben Zobrist on four pitches, and the bases were loaded with just one out. Ivan somehow managed to get out of it, by striking out Loney and getting Joyce to ground out. And we headed on to the 11th inning.

With two outs in the 11th inning, Lyle Overbay homered off of Josh Lueke. After being down to their last out, two Lyle Overbay at bats had brought them back and put them on the verge of a win. The Yankees turned it over to Mariano Rivera for the bottom of the 11th. Mo did what Mo does and threw a 1-2-3 inning, and the Yankees had a improbable 4-3 win.

CC Sabathia gets the start for the Yankees, as they wrap up the series in Florida. Alex Cobb will start for the Rays. First pitch is at 1:40 eastern.

Box score. Lulz-filled Graph Thingy.

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