ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Alex Rodriguez homered twice, Jorge
Posada had two hits and the New York Yankees stopped a six-game
losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday
With Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner in
attendance, New York ended its longest skid since dropping seven in
a row from April 20-27, 2007.
Posada doubled and singled while batting seventh as the
designated hitter. It was his first start since he pulled himself
out of the lineup Saturday soon after he was set to bat ninth.
“To me, it was the place to put him today,” Yankees manager
Joe Girardi said before the game. “There’s a lot of things that I
look at and I just thought it was the place to put him.”
Girardi would not commit to Posada, who is hitless against
left-handed pitching this season, being the everyday DH.
Posada was roundly booed before his first at-bat in the second,
when he grounded out. The Yankees fans in attendance cheered in the
fifth after he singled.
Rodriguez has 621 career home runs. He recorded his first
multihomer game this season and 59th overall.
It was just his second multihit game since April 23 _ he had hit
.171 (14 for 82) with one homer and six RBIs since then.
Elliot Johnson homered for the AL East-leading Rays (24-18), who
are 11-13 at home this season. Ben Zobrist had a run-scoring double
in the ninth with two outs that resulted in the Yankees using
closer Mariano Rivera to get the final out in a non-save situation.
Rodriguez tied it 1 with a fourth-inning homer and then put the
Yankees ahead with a solo shot in the sixth off James Shields
Posada doubled and went to third on Brett Gardner’s bunt single
in the seventh. Posada was replaced by pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez,
who scored on Chris Dickerson’s single during a two-run inning that
made it 4-1. Dickerson was called up from Triple-A earlier in the
day when setup man Rafael Soriano was put on the disabled list.
The Yankees failed to score in the third with a runner on second
and one out when Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson struck out. In
the bottom half, Johnson homered on a 3-2 pitch from Ivan Nova
(4-3) as the Rays went ahead 1-0.
Gardner and Jeter both had RBI singles in the ninth.
David Robertson replaced Nova with the bases loaded and one out
in the sixth and struck out B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman.
Nova gave up one run and four hits in 5 1-3 innings. Shields,
who entered 4-0 over his previous five starts, allowed four runs
and eight hits over seven innings.
Jeter had one hit in five at-bats, striking out three times. The
team captain stayed in the game after fouling a ball near his left
knee during the fifth.
NOTES: New York played without right fielder Nick Swisher, who
has flulike symptoms. … Rodriguez has three homers in 32 at-bats
against Shields. … New York special adviser and Hall of Famer
Reggie Jackson will celebrate his 65th birthday on Wednesday. …
Rays manager Joe Maddon said both Reid Brignac and Johnson will get
playing time at shortstop. … The Yankees have signed LHP Randy
Flores to a minor league contract. He will join Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Tampa Bay LHP J.P. Howell (left shoulder
surgery) threw 1 1-3 innings for Class A Charlotte and is expected
to rejoin the Rays on Friday. … Rays RHP Andy Sonnanstine, who’s
rotation spot was in question, will start Friday at Florida.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)