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Yankees 3, Rays 2: McCarthy keeps up the good work and the offense does something

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The Yankees actually rewarded a lovely pitching performance with a some runs and a victory while Dellin Betances delivered a strikeout for the record books.

Brian Blanco

Like some sickly dog limping down a lonely highway the Yankees marched on toward their eventual demise. Oh, and Brandon McCarthy faced off against Alex Cobb and the Rays at lovely and inviting Tropicana Field. But on this day they came through with just enough offense to escape St. Petersburg with a victory.

Things were moving along like most Yankees games in that there was no scoring up until the bottom of the fourth. Noted "Yankee Murderer" Evan Longoria crushed a ball over the centerfield fence to make it 1-0 Rays. You knew the dynamic Yankees offense would counter and they did just that in the next frame. Chris Young got plunked on his derriere and scored on a Chase Headley double. Headley came around on a double from the other Yankees shortstop and non-power source, Brendan Ryan. The Yankees leapfrogged the Rays and had a 2-1 advantage.

More Yankees offense came about in the sixth when Cobb lost control of the plate. Derek Jeter opened up the inning by singling and ending the second longest hitless streak in his career. Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira both worked walks. Young was unable to get revenge for his plunking as he popped out to catcher. Brett Gardner almost turned the inning into one of the Yankees biggest in recent memory, but Wil Myers make a leaping grab at the wall to reduce it into only a sacrifice fly. Ichiro Suzuki next grounded out to Cobb to make sure the loaded bases situation only netted the Yankees a 3-1 lead. The Rays cut the lead right back to one on the strength of a David DeJesus triple in the sixth.

It was just another excellent showing for McCarthy, who even capped off his night with an "Immaculate Inning". He set down the Rays on nine pitches and three strikeouts in the seventh. Can't do any better than that. He was relieved in the eighth by Dellin Betances, who achieved an even more amazing accomplishment by breaking Mariano Rivera's Yankees record for reliever strikeouts in a season with his whiff of Kevin Kiermaier. He actually got two that inning for good measure. That's numbers 131 and 132 on the year for the big Yankees phenom. David Robertson came in next in the ninth to wrap things up with a nice and tidy save.

The Yankees return to New York overnight to start a weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05. R.A. Dickey and Shane Greene are your probables.

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