PP Game Notes: Yankees 3 - Devil Rays 2

The Yankees earned a split of the four-game set with the Devil Rays, but not without sweating a little. Mariano Rivera worked himself into a jam in the ninth inning, but a game-ending 5-5-3 double play started by Alex Rodriguez saved the day and the Yanks won 3-2.

Paul Abbott was working a no-hitter until one out in the sixth, when Kenny Lofton singled up the middle... The Rays took the lead in the fourth on Eduardo Perez' RBI grounder with the bases loaded in the fourth... In the sixth, A-Rod hit an RBI single to tie the game, and Jason Giambi drove in the go-ahead run right after... Up 2-1 in the ninth, the Yanks scored an insurance run on Enrique Wilson's sacrifice fly that scored Bernie Williams... Tampa moved to within one run with three straight hits off of Rivera, who intentionally walked Geoff Blum to load the bases. Brook Fordyce grounded into the game-ending 5-5-3 double play, when Rodriguez fielded, stepped on third and fired to first... Rodriguez' throw may have sailed wide if not for the extra-long reach of the 6'8" Tony Clark at first base. Clark entered the game in the eighth inning... Kevin Brown improved to 2-0 and won his 199th career decision, joining Mike Mussina at that mark. He pitched seven innings and allowed on five hits... Abbott took the loss, despite pitching well... Bernie Williams started in centerfield for the first time in 2004. Lofton was experiencing mild tightness in his left thigh. Williams made an excellent play up against the wall at one point, and scored the eventual winning run despite going 0/4... Hideki Matsui walked three times... Jose Cruz had two hits and is hitting .500 so far this season... Rivera earned his first save of the year, and Tom Gordon pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out one.

The Yankees' home opener is on Thursday at 1:05 pm Eastern Time against the White Sox. Javier Vazquez will make his debut against Scott Schoenweis.

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