By FRED GOODALL
AP Baseball Writer
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena homered
and the Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of Mark Teixeira’s first
error of the season to beat the New York Yankees 4-3 on Monday
Pinch hitter Brooks Conrad’s RBI double with two outs in the
seventh inning off David Robertson (0-3) made it 3-all.
Teixeira followed by misplaying Elliot Johnson’s sharp grounder
over first base for his first error in 671 chances this year,
enabling Conrad to score the go-ahead run. Teixeira shook his head
after the ball scooted under his glove, allowing Johnson to reach
Matt Moore (5-5) allowed three runs while scattering nine hits
over seven innings to win his fourth straight decision. The Rays
stopped a two-game losing streak that had dropped them a
season-high 7 1-2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL
Upton and Pena homered off right-hander Freddy Garcia, filling
in for the injured Andy Pettitte in a New York rotation also
missing CC Sabathia. Reliever Joel Peralta worked a perfect eighth
for Tampa Bay, and All-Star Fernando Rodney finished up to get his
23rd save in 24 opportunities.
Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, whose
seventh-inninng sacrifice fly made it 3-2, drove in runs for the
Garcia made four starts before being moved into the bullpen
after allowing six runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 7-5 loss to Detroit.
The right-hander returned to the rotation to fill in for Pettitte,
who was placed on the 60-day disabled list after he fractured a
bone in his left leg when he was hit by a batted ball against
Cleveland on June 27.
New York scored twice in the first with help from Hideki Matsui,
the former Yankees star who overran Teixeira’s routine fly to right
field that dropped for a RBI double. Alex Rodriguez singled,
sending Teixeira to third before Cano lined a single up the middle
to stake Garcia to a quick 2-0 lead.
Moore escaped further damage by getting Nick Swisher to hit into
an inning-ending double play, then settled in to blank the Yankees
over the next five innings to give the Rays a chance to come back.
Upton’s sixth homer of the season trimmed New York’s lead to 2-1,
and Pena’s second in three nights made it 2-all.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Garcia,
who had made 10 appearances out of the bullpen since being removed
from the rotation, would be limited to 75 pitches. Pena, who’s 5
for 42 lifetime against the right-hander, homered on Garcia’s 74th
_ and last _ pitch.
Garcia allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He
finished with no walks and four strikeouts.
NOTES: Matsui left the game in the second inning due to left
hamstring tightness. … New York RHP Joba Chamberlain is
progressing toward pitching in a minor league game for the first
time since dislocating his right ankle bouncing on a trampoline in
March. The reliever threw a pair of 20-pitch segments Monday during
a batting practice session at the team’s minor league complex in
Tampa. He said he’s scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday.
… Sabathia, who strained his left groin on July 24, felt good
after he resumed throwing Monday. … Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson,
who left his most recent start after being hit in the right shin by
a line drive off the bat of Prince Fielder, threw a bullpen session
and expects to make his next scheduled start on Thursday at
Cleveland. … Yankees RHP David Aarsdma is undergoing tests after
feeling discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow. The
reliever pitched in three Gulf Coast League games before being shut
down from throwing.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)