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Rays’ Bullpen Woes Cost Price his 12th Win

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Price had his bid to become the AL’s first 12-game winner derailed by the bullpen’s struggles.

Robinson Cano hit a two-run single during a three-run eighth and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Wednesday.

The damage came after Price had departed with a 3-1 lead. The AL All-Star gave up one run and four hits over seven innings.

“It was a typical AL East game and they beat us,” said Price, who struck eight out and walked two.

Cano got the first hit off Price, a fifth-inning single.

“It’s the best I’ve seen his curveball,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “When you add that with the other stuff, the fastball up to 98, the back-door cutter, the changeup, he had no-hit stuff.”

Cano has driven in at least one run in a career-best eight consecutive games, helping the AL East leaders stop a nine-game road losing streak against the Rays.

Alex Rodriguez cut the Yankees’ deficit to 3-2 when he drew a one-out bases-loaded walk, the fourth freebie issued by Kyle Farnsworth (0-1) in the eighth. Jake McGee replaced Farnsworth and allowed Cano’s single that put New York up 4-3.

Farnsworth was making just his second appearance of the season after being out with a strained right elbow.

Rays manager Joe Maddon wanted to rest regular set-up man Joel Peralta, who had pitched in three of the previous four games.

“I did not want to move Joel’s arm today, but that doesn’t matter,” Maddon said. “Kyle is one of the top relief pitchers in the league and that is his moment right there.”

“Kyle Farnsworth is a big part of our present and our future,” Maddon said. “For us to get to the promised land, he’s got to perform well, which he shall. His stuff was fine, he was just missing a little bit.”

It’s the first time in a 14-year career that Farnsworth walked four in one inning.

“That was pretty bad, so I’ve just got to forget about it and keep on going,” Farnsworth said.

Carlos Pena hit a two-run shot off Boone Logan (3-0) as the Rays went up 3-1 in the seventh.

After David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth, Rafael Soriano got the final three outs for his 19th save in 20 opportunities.

Mark Teixeira got the Yankees even at 1-all on a solo homer to start the seventh. Rodriguez followed with a double, but was returned to second after apparently stealing third with one out after it was ruled that plate umpire Mike Estabrook interfered with catcher Jose Lobaton’s throw to third. Andruw Jones then hit a long fly to right that likely would have scored A-Rod.

Rodriguez did steal third with two outs, but the Yankees failed to score when Russell Martin, mired in a 0-for-27 slide, hit a grounder.

Ben Zobrist walked against New York starter David Phelps, stole second and scored to make it 1-0 on Sean Rodriguez’s single with two outs in the fourth.

Phelps, filling in for injured ace CC Sabathia, allowed one run and two hits over 4 1-3 innings in his first start since May 9. He struck out eight, walked three and hit two batters.

Sabathia is on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left groin. He is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday and could rejoin the rotation right after the All-Star break.

Notes: Rays DH Luke Scott is hitless in 36 at-bats, which is one short of club record set in 2004 by Jose Cruz Jr. He was 0 for 4 Wednesday. … Tampa Bay 3B Jeff Keppinger left after two innings because of a bruised left biceps. X-rays were negative. … Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson, hit in the right shin by Prince Fielder’s liner in last Saturday’s game against Detroit, is set to make his scheduled start Thursday night at Cleveland.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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