Yankees
Rays
3 - 1 Final
  for this game

Molina, Hughes lead Yankees past Devil Rays

Sep 28, 2007 - 3:51 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- A night after the New York Yankees clinched a playoff berth, they kept their American League East title hopes alive.

Playing without several starters, backup catcher Jose Molina's two-run single lifted the Yankees past the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 3-1, Thursday night.

"There was a lot of goofing around in the dugout tonight, considering the time of year," Torre said. "It was a very comfortable evening and I had fun. Our goal is to get everybody ready to play Wednesday."

Rookie Phil Hughes pitched seven superb innings and Johnny Damon also drove in a run for New York (92-67), which moved to within two games of the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox (94-65) with three games left.

Boston lost, 5-4, to the Minnesota Twins Thursday night. New York closes the regular season with a three-game series at Baltimore beginning Friday. Hughes scattered four hits, striking out five and walking two. The only mistake by Hughes was serving up the 44th homer of the season to Carlos Pena in the fourth inning.

"Today was the best by far that (Hughes) pitched," Torre said. "He pitched himself out of jams, the only mistake he made was the homer to Pena. "It was very comforting to see him pitch like this."

Yankees manager Joe Torre rested regulars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Bobby Abreu, Doug Mientkiewicz and Melky Cabrera a night after New York clinched its 13th consecutive playoff berth with a 12-4 win here.

Without their stars, the Yankees struggled against Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir, who allowed only three hits and one run in six innings.

Kazmir retired 16 of the first 17 batters until allowing consecutive hits to Alberto Gonzalez and Johnny Damon in the sixth.

With one out, Gonzalez singled into left field and Damon followed with an RBI double to center. Damon, who was 2-for-4 Thursday, went 10-for-15 in this three-game set.

Kazmir, who fanned 10 batters, ended the inning by striking out Wilson Betemit and Hideki Matsui to give him a major league-best 239 this season.

"Kazmir leading the majors in strikeouts is an indication of all the good young players and what they're capable of in the future," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "There's a lot of good stuff going on out here."

Reliever Jon Switzer (0-2) started the seventh for Tampa Bay and promptly allowed a single to Shelley Duncan and a double to Robinson Cano to put runners on second and third with one out. After Gary Glover replaced Switzer and with the infield in, Molina bounced a two-run single up the middle to make it 3-1.

It was enough for Hughes (5-3), who won his third consecutive decision.

Joba Chamberlain allowed a double and hit batsman in the eighth, but struck out B.J. Upton to end the frame before fellow rookie Jose Veras worked around a one-out single in the ninth to record his second career save, the first this season.

"I think you understand how much of the game is pitching," Torre said.

The Devil Rays, who close out their season with three games at Toronto, finished 8-10 vs. New York.

"For me, this is a tough loss," Maddon said. "I really wanted to be .500 against the Yankees this year."








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

    BATTERIES: NYY - PHIL HUGHES, JOBA CHAMBERLAIN (8TH), JOSE VERAS (9TH) AND JOSE
    MOLINA
    TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, JON SWITZER (7TH), GARY GLOVER
    (7TH), SCOTT DOHMANN (9TH) AND DIONE

    Sep 27 10:04 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE MOLINA SCORED SHELLEY DUNCAN AND ROBINSON
    CANO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MOLINA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B SARDINHA (.250, 1-FOR-2)

    Yankees vs. RaysSep 27 9:05 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOHNNY DAMON SCORED ALBERTO GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DAMON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: W BETEMIT (.208, 0-FOR-2)

    Yankees vs. RaysSep 27 8:44 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS PENA (44) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF PHIL HUGHES.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 0, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.305, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Yankees vs. RaysSep 27 8:10 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Yankees vs. RaysSep 11 10:49 PM