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Yankees 7, Rays 5: Wells completes comeback win

Vernon Wells showed signs of life, as he got a late go-ahead hit to put the Yankees ahead for good.

Rich Schultz

The Yankees won a second straight game over the Rays, thanks to a seventh inning comeback punctuated by Vernon Wells.

CC Sabathia got the start for the Yankees and was solid for large portions of the game, minus one early home run and a bad sixth inning. CC went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks.

The Yankees' offense didn't get off to a great start when they stranded two runners in the first inning. That immediately came back to bite them, when Evan Longoria led off the second inning with a home run. Longoria took Sabathia's second pitch of the inning to straight away center field, and gave the Rays a 1-0 lead.

The Yankees then responded to that in the bottom of the second, by again not being able to score after getting two on with one out. But in the third inning, the Yankees got their third golden chance for runs in as many innings.

Brett Gardner led off the inning by reaching on an error, after Rays' starter Alex Colome dropped the toss before stepping on first. Ichiro Suzuki could only ground into a force out at second, but was easily safe, keeping a runner at first. Robinson Cano was up next and he singled, moving Ichiro to second. Travis Hafner then hit a slow grounder to short which Yunel Escobar couldn't make a play on. That loaded the bases with just one out. Lyle Overbay struck out, which brought Zoilo Almonte to the plate with two outs. Zoilo continued his hot hitting from yesterday, singling up the middle. That scored Ichiro and Cano, and made it 2-1 Yankees.

The teams traded a few scoreless half-innings, until the Yankees came up in the bottom of the fifth. Cano drew a one out walk, bringing Hafner to the plate. Hafner nearly grounded into a double play ball, but James Loney threw away the ball trying to get Cano out at second. With a shift on and no one covering third, Cano was able to move up another base, putting runners on first and third. Lyle Overbay drew a walk, which loaded the bases for Almonte again. Zolio didn't get a hit this time, but he did draw a walk, which scored another run, making it 3-1 Yankees. Despite the two previous walks, Jayson Nix and David Adams both struck out to end the inning.

But the Rays got that run back and more in the top of the sixth. Sam Fuld led off the inning by walking on four pitches. Desmond Jennings then doubled, putting runners on second and third. CC fought back by getting Sean Rodriguez to fly out and Ben Zobrist to pop out in foul territory. The Yankees then opted to intentionally walk Longoria to face Wil Myers. But Myers hit a grand slam just off the top of the wall, giving the Rays the 5-3 lead, putting the offense in a hole.

After going down quietly in the sixth inning, the Yankees' offense staged a comeback in the seventh. Cano led off the inning by drawing his third walk of the day. After Hafner flew out, Overbay doubled to left field, putting runners on second and third. Almonte again came to the plate with runners on and he again drew a walk, loading the bases. Nix came up and he fouled a couple pitches off, but ended up striking out. This brought up Adams with the bases still loaded and two outs. Adams managed to draw his second walk of the game (and season). That scored Cano, cutting the Rays' lead to 5-4. Vernon Wells then came in to pinch hit for Stewart. Shockingly, Wells hit a bases clearing double that gave the Yankees a 7-5 lead. Wells has originally gone to third, but had to go back to second after it was ruled a fan touched the ball. Despite that, the umpires ruled that all three runs would've scored, which gave the Yankees an extra run to work with.

In the top of the eighth inning, David Robertson pitched a 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom half, Cano drew his fourth walk of the game, but the offense couldn't bring him around to score. Mariano Rivera was brought in to pitch the ninth inning for the Yankees.

With one out in the ninth, Wil Myers legged out a infield single beating Mo to the bag. Yunel Escobar then nearly grounded into a game-ending double play, but Nix tried to do to much and ended up throwing away the throw to first. But Mo got the next batter, James Loney, to ground out to end the game, giving the Yankees a 7-5 win.

The series finale with the Rays is tomorrow at 2:05 eastern. Ivan Nova will return and make the start for the Yankees. Oh boy.

Box score. Graph Thingy.

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