Roll On: Yankees Fall To Devil Rays

Roger Clemens doesn't seem terribly interested in getting over the 300 hump. The Rocket allowed two homeruns to Damian Rolls, who powered the Devil Rays over the Yankees by a final score of 4-2, snapping the Yanks' four-game win streak, and the D-Rays' five-game losing streak.

Rolls, who hadn't homered since August of 2001, connected on his first shot of the game in the second inning after Clemens walked Ben Grieve and Marlon Anderson back-to-back. Rolls struck again in the fifth with a solo homer to left, accounting for all four of Tampa's RBI.

The Yankees looked like they would be in control after the first pitch of the game. Alfonso Soriano sent Victor Zambrano's first offering and drilled it to deep centerfield for a homerun. It was Soriano's sixth leadoff homer of the season, and his 20th overall. Soriano is the fastest Yankee in history to reach the 20 homeruns/20 stolen bases mark, a record he set last season and broke on Monday.

But Zambrano (4-4) settled down after that and defeated Clemens and the Yankees for the first time in 2003. The two pitchers had already faced off three times this season, with Clemens taking one of the victories. Zambrano lasted seven innings, allowed just two runs on five hits and four walks while fanning six batters.

Clemens (7-5) was charged with the loss. He pitched seven innings, allowed five hits and two walks for four runs while striking out six. Rolls notched his third hit of the game off of Clemens in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Yankees threatened in the fourth inning, but got only one run out of a potentially prolific situation. Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi walked to open the inning, but Jorge Posada grounded into a fielder's choice before Hideki Matsui got up to bat.

With runners at the corners, Matsui hit a ground-rule double over the centerfield fence to score Jeter. But Juan Rivera hit into a fielder's choice, leaving Jorge Posada to be thrown out at home. After Robin Ventura walked, Raul Mondesi hit into another fielder's choice to end the inning.

Al Reyes and Sterling Hitchcock combined to pitch a perfect eighth inning for the Yankees. Lance Carter pitched a perfect ninth for Tampa Bay to earn his 12th save of the year.

Game two of the four-game series is on Tuesday at 7:15. Jeff Weaver (3-6, 5.77) gets the start for the Yankees, and Dewon Brazelton (1-6, 6.46) will take the hill for Tampa Bay after temporarily leaving the rotation.

Notes: Each bench received a warning in the third inning when Zambrano threw a pitch behind Soriano, but nothing further came of it … Rolls' homeruns were the first by a Devil Ray since they hit three against the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday … Ruben Sierra left the game in the second inning with a hamstring strain which he suffered when running out an infield single.

Subscribe to PinstripesPlus.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass, ESPN the Magazine, and all premium content on PinstripesPlus.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all TheInsiders.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 5 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.

Subscribe to PinstripesPlus.com



Pinstripes Plus Top Stories