The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees Friday night, 6-4, managing to gain crucial ground in the playoff race. The win puts the Rays within three games of the Yankees and one of the two AL Wild Cards.
It was a tight game the whole way through. New York got on the board first on an RBI single by Steve Pearce in the bottom of the second. The Rays were unable to answer until the fifth, but when they did, they took a 3-1 lead on RBI singles by Elliot Johnson and Desmond Jennings, plus an additional run when Evan Longoria hit into a double play.
Curtis Granderson made it 3-2 with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, but Ben Zobrist came through with an RBI single for the Rays in the seventh and a solo home run from B.J. Upton in the eighth. The Yankees threatened a comeback in the bottom of the eighth when Joel Peralta gave up a two-run home run to Alex Rodriguez, but Fernando Rodney entered the game and got Granderson on a ground out with two on and two out. The Rays added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Jennings reached on a single, stole second and scored on a bad throw to first by Eduardo Nunez.
Game 2 of the three game series is scheduled for Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
For more analysis and commentary, head to Rays blog DRays Bay for the perspective from Tampa, or check out Yankees blog Pinstripe Bible for New York's point of view. As always, Baseball Nation has you covered for news from across the league.