Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Spoil Vintage Outing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Spoil Vintage Outing

Article excerpt

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - More of the vintage Andy Pettitte was on display Wednesday night, changing speeds and flustering the Rays through the first four innings at Tropicana Field.

In the fifth, Pettitte was hurt by one wayward pitch and by his own defense.

But he already was suffering from a lack of run support from his Yankees teammates who struggled to get any good swings against Alex Cobb.

The right-hander pitched into the ninth inning of a 3-0 Rays win, giving Tampa Bay victories in two of the three games in this series.

On Joe Maddon Garden Gnome Night there were boos for the Rays manager from 19,177 fans when he took the ball from Cobb, who had just yielded a one-out single to Brett Gardner in the ninth. Through the first eight innings, Cobb had yielded just two singles.

Closer Fernando Rodney, who took the loss Tuesday night, entered and immediately yielded a single to Ichiro Suzuki.

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

It was a scoreless game when ex-Yankee backup catcher Jose Molina led off the fifth by taking one for the team.

Pettitte's sharp 1-2 cutter darted in on Molina, striking him in the front foot.

The heavyset Molina hobbled to first base, but could only advance to third when Kelly Johnson followed with a single that somehow rolled under the glove of right fielder Brennan Boesch for a stunning error.

The ball made it to the warning track, putting runners at second and third with none out and the top of the Rays' order coming up.

But Pettitte nearly made it out of the inning unscathed, striking out Desmond Jennings and Ryan Roberts before Ben Zobrist delivered a two-run double to right.

Sean Rodriguez led off the sixth with a homer to make it 3-0, which had the look of an insurmountable deficit against Cobb (3-1).

The 40-year-old Pettitte (3-1) has continued to operate as if he'd never retired for one year following the 2010 season, carrying a 2. …

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