Rays
Yankees
5 - 17 Final
  for this game

Yankees crush Devil Rays, complete sweep

Jul 22, 2007 - 4:05 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Alex Rodriguez moved closer to history but it was Johnny Damon who also played a starring role on Saturday night for the New York Yankees.

Rodriguez hit his 497th career home run while Damon drove in three runs and played some solid defense in left field as the Yankees completed a doubleheader sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with a 17-5 victory.

New York won the opener of the day-night doubleheader, 7-3.

"Today was a big day for us coming in," Yankees first baseman Andy Phillips said of the sweep. "We certainly needed to win this (doubleheader) today."

Rodriguez moved within three home runs of the historic 500 mark after hitting his major league-leading 33rd home run. His first home run since Monday capped the scoring for the Yankees, who built a 7-2 lead and then scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to turn the game into a rout.

"He (Rodriguez) had great at-bats," Yankees manager Joe Torre said after his team set season highs in runs and hits. "Just right from the first at-bat, he looked very comfortable."

Before Rodriguez's two-run home run off Jay Witasick landed on the netting beyond the left field fence and in front of the retired numbers, Damon played a prominent role in New York's eighth victory in 11 games.

"We definitely felt that scoring was definitely going to be something we needed to do," Torre said. "It was great."

Starting in left field for the third time this season, Damon opened the game by battling the wind to catch a fly ball by Akinori Iwamura. An inning later, he made an even better catch as he made a diving stop on Iwamura to end the second and preserve a 3-2 lead.

"He was phenomenal tonight," Phillips said. "He made a couple of huge plays for us and drove in some runs. He stepped up for us."

Damon, who had just two RBI in his previous 17 games, had an RBI groundout in the second but still had more contributions as the game continued. The Yankees took a 7-2 lead on a two-run double by Wil Nieves in the third but Matt DeSalvo and Brian Bruney combined to surrender three runs by the time there were two outs in the sixth.

Brendan Harris represented the tying run against Luis Vizcaino but he lined out to Damon, who made another running grab. In the bottom half, the Yankees ensured they would not have to sweat out a win.

"It certainly gave everybody a lift," Torre said. "As much as he's been struggling lately, I'm sure it picked him up. That first play of the game I thought was huge because it just sort of set the tone for what was going to happen."

The Yankees saw 47 pitches from Witasick and sent 10 men to the plate in their second five-run inning of the doubleheader. Damon sparked the big inning with a double to left that scored Nieves and Melky Cabrera.

Damon moved to third on a groundout by Derek Jeter and scored New York's 10th run on Bobby Abreu's base hit.

The 33-year-old Damon, who is in the second year of a four-year contract, went 2-for-4. He snapped a career-high 0-for-20 slump Friday night, rested in the first game of the twin bill and then recorded just his third multi-hit game since June 9.

New York added five more runs in the seventh off rookie Brian Stokes. Hideki Matsui, who hit a two-run home run in the opener, highlighted the inning with a three-run home run.

It was Matsui's 16th home run and eighth in the last 16 games.

"Disappointing," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said after watching his pitching staff allow a franchise-record eight doubles and a season-high 17 runs. "We definitely had a shot in the first game and the second game got away from us fast."

All of the offense made a winner out of Luis Vizcaino (8-2). After DeSalvo allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, Vizcaino tossed 1 2/3 perfect innings.

Tampa Bay starter J.P. Howell (1-4) lasted five innings and was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits.

"Catching it (my rhythm) in the fourth is too late," Howell said. "By then they had seven runs."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 5 11 2
    NY YANKEES 3 1 3 0 0 5 5 0 x 17 20 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - J.P. HOWELL, JAY WITASICK (6TH), BRIAN STOKES (7TH), AL REYES
    (8TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO
    NYY - MATT DESALVO, BRIAN BRUNEY (5TH), MIKE MYERS
    (6TH), LUIS VIZCAIN

    Jul 21 10:38 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY HIDEKI MATSUI (16) TO RIGHT WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF BRIAN STOKES SCORED MIGUEL CAIRO AND BOBBY
    ABREU.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5, NY YANKEES 17
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A PHILLIPS (.316, 2-FOR-4)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 10:13 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B ABREU ON FIRST, M CAIRO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    NY YANKEES 14 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.278, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 10:11 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY JOHNNY DAMON SCORED WIL NIEVES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DAMON ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    NY YANKEES 13 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.330, 1-FOR-4)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 10:04 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (33) TO LEFT CENTER WITH
    1 OUT IN THE 6TH OFF JAY WITASICK SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5, NY YANKEES 12
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.278, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 9:42 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY BOBBY ABREU SCORED JOHNNY DAMON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B ABREU ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    NY YANKEES 10 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.309, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 9:37 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY JOHNNY DAMON SCORED MELKY CABRERA AND WIL NIEVES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DAMON ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    NY YANKEES 9 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.331, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 9:31 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSH WILSON SCORED JONNY GOMES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D NAVARRO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    NY YANKEES 7 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.283, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 9:10 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY B.J. UPTON SCORED JOSH WILSON AND AKINORI
    IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B UPTON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    NY YANKEES 7 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.289, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 8:47 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY WIL NIEVES SCORED ROBINSON CANO AND MELKY
    CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, W NIEVES ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 7 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J DAMON (.233, 0-FOR-1, BB, RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 8:16 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY ROBINSON CANO SCORED ALEX RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CANO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.277, 1-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 8:14 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    GROUND OUT BY JOHNNY DAMON SCORED MELKY CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.332, 1-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 7:51 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY JOSH WILSON SCORED CARLOS PENA AND JONNY GOMES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J WILSON ON FIRST, D NAVARRO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    NY YANKEES 3 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.281, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 7:44 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    NY YANKEES 3 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.281, 15 HR, 58 RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 7:24 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    DOUBLE BY BOBBY ABREU SCORED JOHNNY DAMON AND DEREK JETER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B ABREU ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: A RODRIGUEZ (.306, 32 HR, 92 RBI)

    Rays vs. YankeesJul 21 7:22 PM