New Yankees Shine In Debuts

The two newest New York Yankees, Karim Garcia and Dan Miceli arrived just in time to play in Thursday's finale with the Devil Rays. Garcia started in left field and ended up scoring the go-ahead run on Raul Mondesi's two-run homerun in the seventh inning. Miceli got the Yankees out of a tough jam in the eighth in his debut as the Yankees went on to win 4-3.

Mike Mussina (10-4) earned his tenth win of the season by holding down the Devil Rays. Over 7 1/3 innings, the Moose allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out five. He left the game in the eighth though, with the game on the line and trouble on the bases.

With one out and runners on the corners, Joe Torre turned to Miceli – who arrived in Tampa at around 3:00 am – to maintain the Yankees' scant two-run lead. With Miceli in the game, the runner on first – Julio Lugo – stole second base to intensify the threat. Miceli got Rocco Baldelli to line out hard to right field, too shallow to score the run from third base, and then induced a groundout back to the mound from Aubrey Huff to end the inning.

Not a bad way to make your debut in pinstripes.

Karim Garcia arrived just in time to find out that he was starting in left field for the Yankees. He responded by going 1-3 with a single and a walk. The single came in the seventh inning with the score tied at two, right before Raul Mondesi clubbed a ball over the left-centerfield fence for a tie-breaking homerun.

The Devil Rays wasted a good start from Jason Standridge (0-3) who pitched well against the hard-hitting Yankees. Standridge lasted seven innings, allowing four runs on just five hits and three walks. He also struck out three batters.

Jason Giambi's two-run homerun with Todd Zeile on board gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Giambi's 20th homerun of the season put him on base for the 32nd consecutive game.

Tampa Bay scored their two runs off of Mussina in the second inning on a Damian Rolls RBI double that was followed by Javier Valentin's first triple of the year.

Mariano Rivera came on the ninth inning to earn his 12th save of the year. It wasn't as automatic as Wednesday night's save when he threw eight straight strikes however. Rivera allowed two hits and a run, but struck out Ben Grieve looking to end the game – much to the chagrin of Tampa manager Lou Piniella, who had words with Grieve after the game.

The victory completed a series victory for the Yankees, who took three games from Tampa Bay. The Yankees return home to face the Mets in round two of the Subway Series. Game one is on Friday at 7:05 pm. David Wells (9-2, 3.26) will take the hill for the Yankees. He will face the Mets' Jae Weong Seo (5-2, 2.66).

Notes: Derek Jeter's birthday was Thursday. The Yankee captain turned 29 and went 0-5 in the game … Giambi's 20th homerun marked the fastest that two Yankees reached 20 homeruns in the same season since 1961, when Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris did it. Alfonso Soriano also has 20 … Kerwin Daley, the home plate umpire, left the game in the fourth inning with an injured shoulder.

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