Rays
Yankees
6 - 9 Final
  for this game

Kennedy sharp in debut as Yankees edge Devil Rays

Sep 1, 2007 - 11:57 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Ian Kennedy became the eighth rookie to start for the New York Yankees. And chances are he had the most eventful debut out of anyone.

Kennedy pitched seven solid innings and Alex Rodriguez drove in four runs as the Yankees posted a 9-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday afternoon.

The Yankees (76-60), who won for the fourth time in five contests, are two games in front of the Seattle Mariners (73-61) for the wild card lead.

New York also is 4 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox (80-55) in the American League East. The Red Sox face the Baltimore Orioles later Saturday night.

They also had their second straight eventful victory. Saturday's contest featured two bats confiscated and three errors by Tampa Bay shortstop Josh Wilson and one by Rodriguez.

The drama began to unfold in the top of the second during rookie third baseman Akinori Iwamura's second at-bat. With a 2-2 count, the Yankees had the umpires inspect the bat.

With runners on first and second, Yankees manager Joe Torre came out to complain about Iwamura's bat, which has the end cut flat instead of rounded, which is how most bats look.

"The rules state that it has to be smooth surface, and it just looked like the bat was sort of sawed off," Torre said. "That's the only thing I asked the umpire to check the bat. I certainly wasn't out there to try the old gamesmanship stuff. I was just curious. I've never seen that before.

"But I know if you get a bat made longer than the specifics and make it heavier, make it more solid without being heavier. You cut off the end of the bat, and that's what it looked like to me."

Crew chief Dana DeMuth explained that he was just following the rules.

"Manager Joe Torre contends that no manufacturer makes a bat sawed off at the end like that, and he wanted to determine whether it was a legal bat or an illegal bat," DeMuth said. "We respected his request."

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon conferred with all four umpires and first base umpire Doug Eddings took Iwamura's bat, which likely will be sent to the commissioner's office.

The bat is made by Nike and Iwamura has been using it all season. The only time it was challenged was in Arizona on June 18, when Tim McClelland - who also umpired the famous "Pine Tar Game" between the Yankees and Kansas City Royals in 1983 - deemed it acceptable.

"I played the whole year with the same exact bat," Iwamura said through an interpreter. "Not only against the Yankees, but since the whole season started. Since then, I have kept using the same exact bat until today."

"I had no idea what was going on," Kennedy said. "I'm glad he did because I had too many pitches that inning. Jose had no idea, Jeter had no idea either so we were kind of guessing. When they took the bat away, we kind of figured because it's flat on the end."

After the brief interruption, Iwamura struck out to end the inning.

"It upset Aki at that particular moment because he didn't understand what was going on," Maddon said. "He thought they were accusing him of doing something illegal, which he was not. I was trying to settle him down, continue his at-bat.

"'That's not the case, you are not cheating there is nothing wrong. They are making these accusations. You get your bat back (Sunday),' trying to do the interpreter things, but nevertheless, I think it did bother him."

When Rodriguez came up for his second at-bat, Maddon did the same thing since the rules entitled him to do.

"Joe Maddon contends that there is something inside the bat that alters the distance of the ball," DeMuth said. "He also is entitled to a challenge by rule so we also honored his request."

"Just retaliation," Maddon said. "There is nothing wrong with Alex Rodriguez - he's a great player. Tit for tat entirely. I said it's an illegal bat, I can't see inside it, but there might be something inside that bat, I don't have X-ray vision. He's got 45 home runs on September 1."

Rodriguez singled to left on the next pitch and the Yankees scored twice in the inning to take the lead for good and then added three in the fourth as Rodriguez had a two-run double that gave New York a 7-2 advantage.

"I was hoping they would take my glove too after that pop up," Rodriguez said. "But he wanted the bat. I thought it was pretty funny. I hope I get it back. I like that bat."

That was enough support for Kennedy (1-0), who, with the exception of a 36-pitch second inning, was effective filling in for struggling righthander Mike Mussina. Considered to be a similar to the veteran righthander, Kennedy allowed a two-run double to Wilson in the second and a solo shot to B.J. Upton in the sixth.

"That first inning it felt like an outer body experience," Kennedy said. "My adrenaline was pumping so much. I tried controlling it, but I'm glad I got through it."

After putting two runners on in the third with the game tied, Kennedy got Delmon Young to hit into an inning-ending double play and that began a stretch of eight straight retired batters before Upton homered.

"After that (the third inning), it was back to normal," Kennedy said. "I got a feel for my fastball. Location was a little better along with my off-speed pitches."

Following Upton's home run, Kennedy retired the side in the seventh and his final pitch was a strikeout of Wilson on a 94 miles-per-hour fastball. After the inning ended, Kennedy received spirited handshakes from his teammates in the dugout and a hug from pitching coach Ron Guidry in the dugout.

"It goes back to his poise," Torre said. "He just seemed very prepared to pitch this game and again he didn't let the fact that we scored two, and he gave two back real quick get in the way."

The Yankees have used rookies to start 43 games this season. Earlier this campaign, they employed Chase Wright, Tyler Clippard and Matt DeSalvo to fill for some injured veterans.

But they have big expectations for Kennedy, whom Torre said will likely start next week in Kansas City.

Kennedy mixed speeds well while working with catcher Jose Molina as he struck out six and walked two. He threw 96 pitches but only 34 in the final four frames.

"Innings are very valuable and he didn't look like he was successful based on the fact that they hadn't seen him before," Torre said. "Because when you go to the seventh inning, they have a pretty good idea of what you're doing but he still was able to change location and change pitch speed."

The rookie righthander was staked to a 2-0 lead when Rodriguez hit his 45th home run of the season and 509th of his career in the first. But the slugger also contributed to Tampa Bay's two-run second when he dropped a foul pop by Brendan Harris, who would have been the second out.

Harris singled and, two batters later, Wilson lined a two-run double. But the Yankees seized the lead for good in the third thanks to Wilson, who also had three errors at shortstop, including a throwing error that allowed Melky Cabrera to score on Bobby Abreu's fielder's choice.

The Yankees added another run on Jason Giambi's RBI groundout and scored three more in the fourth. Wilson booted a grounder by Jose Molina that would have been the first out and Derek Jeter and Abreu drew consecutive one-out walks.

Abreu's walk made it 5-3 and chased Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson (4-13) from the contest. Jackson, who beat the Yankees and Mussina here on July 20, lasted just 3 1/3 innings and was charged with seven runs and five hits.

After Rodriguez's double, the Yankees added a pair in the seventh off Juan Salas. Molina and Cabrera had consecutive RBI singles to cap the scoring.

Those runs would turn out to be crucial as Luis Vizcaino allowed three runs in the eighth, forcing Torre to use Rivera. The future Hall-of-Famer recorded the final out of the eighth and hurled a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save, ending the game with a strikeout of Iwamura.

Rodriguez had a chance for the cycle but the Yankees removed him as a precaution after he slid headfirst into second base. Torre said he consulted with Rodriguez and the third baseman said that the achievement was not that important.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 6 8 3
    NY YANKEES 2 0 2 3 0 0 2 0 x 9 10 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - EDWIN JACKSON, JON SWITZER (4TH), JUAN SALAS (6TH), BRIAN
    STOKES (7TH) AND JOSH PAUL
    NYY - IAN KENNEDY, LUIS VIZCAINO (8TH), MARIANO RIVERA
    (8TH) AND JOSE MO

    Sep 1 4:45 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRENDAN HARRIS SCORED B.J. UPTON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D YOUNG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 6
    NY YANKEES 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J GOMES (.250, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 4:27 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CARLOS PENA SCORED CARL CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    NY YANKEES 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.313, 1-FOR-2, BB, HR, RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 4:20 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARL CRAWFORD SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRAWFORD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    NY YANKEES 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.272, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 4:20 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MELKY CABRERA SCORED ANDY PHILLIPS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CABRERA ON FIRST, J MOLINA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    NY YANKEES 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.325, 1-FOR-2, BB, HBP)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 4:04 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE MOLINA SCORED SHELLEY DUNCAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MOLINA ON FIRST, A PHILLIPS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3
    NY YANKEES 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.294, 1-FOR-4)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 4:03 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY B.J. UPTON (22) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF IAN KENNEDY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 3, NY YANKEES 7
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D YOUNG (.293, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 3:30 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED JOSE MOLINA AND
    DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, B ABREU ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.302, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 3:02 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO BOBBY ABREU SCORED ANDY PHILLIPS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ABREU ON FIRST, D JETER ON SECOND, J
    MOLINA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.308, 2-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 2:58 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JASON GIAMBI SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J GIAMBI ON FIRST, A RODRIGUEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.300, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 2:34 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JOSH WILSON ALLOWED MELKY CABRERA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ABREU ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.306, 1-FOR-1, HR, 2 RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 2:24 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH WILSON SCORED DELMON YOUNG AND BRENDAN
    HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J WILSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J PAUL (.198, 1 HR, 9 RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 1:40 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (45) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF EDWIN JACKSON SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.303, 23 HR, 91 RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 1:21 PM
  • 10
    roots
    donbean Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. YankeesSep 1 12:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. YankeesAug 25 3:26 AM