Yankees Win An Ugly One In Tampa

The Yankees did their best – or worst – to blow Tuesday night's game against the Devil Rays, but Tampa Bay wouldn't have it. After the Yankees bullpen imploded to give up five runs in the seventh inning, the D-Rays bullpen allowed the Bronx Bombers to score four in the ninth to win the game, 10-9. Juan Rivera's three-run homer in the ninth tied the game before Todd Zeile's RBI double gave the Yanks the win.

Starting pitcher Jeff Weaver managed to put in a relatively decent performance. For the first time since May 20, the struggling Yankee pitcher left the game with a lead and the chance for a victory. The Yankees haven't won a game that Weaver has started since May 15, and they almost didn't on Tuesday.

After Weaver came out of the game with a 6-4 lead, the Yankees bullpen collapsed. Chris Hammond, who replaced Weaver with one out in the sixth, allowed a single to Aubrey Huff, then walked Ben Grieve and Travis Lee to load the bases with nobody out.

Al Reyes came in to relieve Hammond and struck out pinch-hitter Jason Tyner, then allowed a grand slam to Marlon Anderson to give the D-Rays an 8-6 lead. The trouble didn't end there either. After Damian Rolls grounded out, Carl Crawford singled and stole second, then came around to score when Julio Lugo grounded a ball between Robin Ventura's legs to give Tampa the 9-6 lead.

Distraught and coming apart at the seams, the Yankees plodded into the final two innings. In the ninth, Lance Carter came on for Tampa Bay to close out the game, but he fared no better than the Yankees bullpen did.

Carter allowed a double to Raul Mondesi and an infield single to catcher John Flaherty to put runners on the corners. Juan Rivera stepped in and launched his first homerun of the year to straightaway centerfield to tie the game at nine.

One out later, Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch and scored on Todd Zeile's double into the right-centerfield gap.

Mariano Rivera came on in the bottom of the ninth and worked around a leadoff single and a walk to pick up his tenth save of the year.

Jason Anderson (1-0) grabbed his first major league victory by pitching a perfect eighth inning.

Weaver allowed a first-inning homerun to Rocco Baldelli to give Tampa Bay an early lead, but the Yankees came roaring back in the second inning.

Mondesi led off the second with a walk that was followed by John Flaherty's first homerun of the season. Flaherty played five seasons in Tampa Bay before signing with the Yankees in the offseason. Tampa Bay starter Dewon Brazelton came out after allowing a single to Rivera, having retired just three batters.

The Yankees had multiple opportunities to score more runs than they did. In the second, the Yankees had the bases loaded with nobody out but failed to capitalize when Robin Ventura struck out and Mondesi popped out to end the inning. Ventura also struck out with the bases loaded in the first inning. In the fourth, Ventura – who leads active players with 16 grand slams – finally got a hit with the bags juiced in the fourth, a single.

Carter (4-3) took the loss for the Devil Rays, pitching just 2/3 of an inning and allowing four runs.

The third game of the four-game series will be on Wednesday at 7:05 pm. Southpaw Andy Pettitte (7-6, 4.69) will take the mound for the Yankees and will face off against Rob Bell (0-1, 6.75) of Tampa Bay.

Notes: Zeile was in the game because Jason Giambi took a grounder off of his wrist during the game. Giambi is day-to-day … Ruben Sierra's tweaked hamstring isn't serious, but he will be limited to pinch-hitting duties for a few games.

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