5 - 6 Final
  for this game

Upton, Fuld homer Rays past slumping Yankees

May 17, 2011 - 6:06 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - B.J. Upton and Sam Fuld hit two-run homers during a five-run sixth inning, helping power the Rays to a 6-5 victory over the New York Yankees.

Johnny Damon added a solo shot and Matt Joyce hit an RBI single for Tampa Bay, which had dropped the final two games of a weekend set against Baltimore. The Rays scored just six runs during the entire three-game series, but matched that total Monday in the opener of a two-game set.

Curtis Granderson hit his 14th home run of the season, a three-run blast that gave New York a 5-1 edge in the fifth. But starter A.J. Burnett (4-3) gave up the lead in the next inning as the Yankees dropped their sixth consecutive game.

"I've got to pick us up right there," Burnett said. "Take nothing away from the Rays, they're a good-hitting team, but I had way too good of stuff tonight. I was locating early, mixing early, and it just got away. You can't allow that to happen."

The Rays' rally began with John Jaso's double to right. Fuld followed by blasting a 3-1 pitch, which Burnett delivered down the center of the plate, to right field for his second homer of the season.

Burnett retired the next two batters, but Evan Longoria reached on an infield single to extend the rally, then moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Joyce's single.

Burnett fell apart during the next at-bat against Upton. The pitches he threw for strikes were elevated and fouled off, and the balls were well off the plate. He also tried three pickoff moves before throwing wild pitch that allowed Joyce to move to second.

The right-hander surrendered the lead on the fifth pitch of the at-bat, a breaking ball up and on the inside part of the plate. Upton slugged it to left-center field to put the Rays on top.

"I wasn't exactly sitting on it, but he left it up and kind of over the plate, so I put a good swing on it," Upton said. "I actually didn't think I got it, but it went, so I'm happy with it."

The Tampa Bay bullpen held on to the lead over the final three innings. Joel Peralta tossed two shutout innings before Kyle Farnsworth worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

The sixth-inning rally made a winner of Juan Cruz (2-0), who threw a scoreless top of the sixth in relief of David Price. The Tampa Bay starter allowed all five Yankees runs on six hits and a walk in five frames, and struck out five.

New York got on the board in the second inning, when Eduardo Nunez hit a two- run single with the bases loaded and two away.

Russell Martin began the fifth with a base hit, and Derek Jeter walked two batters later. Granderson then turned on a full-count fastball, which Price delivered just below the belt and on the outer half of the plate, and crushed it deep over the right field fence.

Game Notes

Granderson homered for the second consecutive game...New York again did not have Jorge Posada in the lineup. The struggling veteran had asked out of the lineup Saturday after being dropped to ninth in the order, and was not in the lineup Sunday, though did appear as a pinch-hitter. He has struggled all season (.165 average), but especially against left-handers like Price, going 0-for-24...Casey Kotchman had two hits to lead the Rays. Every starter but shortstop Reid Brignac recorded at least one hit.