Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Waste Vintage Effort

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Waste Vintage Effort

Article excerpt

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - In the race to 90 wins, or whatever lackluster number it takes to capture the AL East, the Rays flaunted their best advantage against the Yankees this week.

"They've got a good pitching staff," Robinson Cano said matter- of-factly Wednesday night.

Following Matt Moore's dominant victory Monday and a tough no- decision by David Price on Tuesday, right-hander Alex Cobb pitched into the ninth inning of a 3-0 Rays win at Tropicana Field.

By winning two of three games in this series, the Rays (10-11) offered the Yankees (11-9) a sample of how the East can be won. And as Brett Gardner noted, the Yanks have yet to face starters Jeremy Hellickson or Roberto Hernandez, the right-hander formerly known as Fausto Carmona.

"Those guys are good, too," Gardner said with equal understatement.

Andy Pettitte put forward another solid effort in defeat, with 10 strikeouts in six innings, but the designated hitter rule prevented him from aiding a lineup that totaled just two hits - both singles - off Cobb in the first eight innings.

"Their kid threw a great game and we weren't able to do much," Pettitte said. "Not a whole lot more than that on this one."

On Joe Maddon Garden Gnome Night there were boos for the Rays' manager from 19,177 fans when he took the ball from Cobb (3-1), who had just yielded Gardner's one-out single in the ninth.

Closer Fernando Rodney entered and immediately yielded a single to Ichiro Suzuki, whose two-run, ninth-inning hit off Rodney had carried the Yanks to victory Tuesday night.

Batting as the tying run, Cano grounded out softly to second base before Travis Hafner popped out.

Afterward, the Yankees recycled their praise for Moore's two- hit, eight-inning performance of Monday night in describing Cobb's three-hit gem.

"He didn't make any mistakes," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He used his three pitches. …

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