NEW YORK (CBS) The Rays managed to find C.C Sabathia’s sweet spot Friday night to over power the Yankees’ left-hander with five solo home runs and an offensive performance that kept Yankee stadium quiet through nine innings.
Tampa Bay won 5-1 Friday to begin a three-game series with the Yankees, and moved to 7 1/2 games off the lead in the AL Wild Card race.
New York had a sluggish start tonight and never really got it going at the plate, thanks to Rays’ starter David Price. He gave Tampa Bay eight innings of work as he struck out four and gave up only one earned run.
Price was dominant and had his fastball going early, and his offensive help consisted of five solo home runs by Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach, Johnny Damon, Elliot Johnson and Evan Longoria. They all came off of Sabathia, which makes it the most homers he has given up in a single game during his entire career.
The win tonight was a reminder of how good this Rays team can compete when their up against a quality opponent like the New York Yankees. Price picked up his first win in August and the Rays are coasting on a five-game win streak after sweeping the Royals at Tropicana Field.
If a comeback is going to happen, it needs to start now. With 44 games left in the regular season Tampa Bay will have to show a tremendous amount of heart over the next two months to have a chance at securing a playoff spot in 2011.