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Loney’s Single Lifts Rays Over Yankees 3-1

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RICK FREEMAN,AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — James Loney hit a tiebreaking two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 3-1 on Sunday.

Chris Archer pitched six innings of one-run ball for his first win in three starts since June 7 and the Rays earned a split of their four-game series in the Bronx after the Yankees celebrated their 67th Old-Timers’ Day.

Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the ninth for his 15th save in 20 chances this season.

Archer (2-3) struck out four, allowed six hits, with a walk and a hit batter, and outdueled Ivan Nova, who returned to the Yankees’ rotation from the minor leagues and settled down after a shaky first inning.

The Yankees right-hander came undone just enough in the seventh.

Nova (2-2) left with two outs in the seventh after he hit Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist with pitches. Shawn Kelley walked Evan Longoria to load the bases and Boone Logan got to two strikes on Loney before the Rays first baseman lined a sharp shot up the middle. Joba Chamberlain came on and struck out Wil Myers to end the inning.

Nova pitched himself out of a jam two innings before that. He walked Jose Molina to lead off the inning and allowed a two-out single to Desmond Jennings to bring up Ben Zobrist in a tough spot. After getting ahead of him 0-2, Nova threw Zobrist a curveball low and inside. He swung and missed, and catcher Chris Stewart pumped his fist and ran off the field.

Nova finished with seven strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings, allowing 7 hits and three walks.

Zobrist got the Rays on the board with an RBI single in the first as Nova labored. Robinson Cano answered with a sacrifice fly caught on the warning track in the bottom half.

Nova entered the game 4-0 in five career starts against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium. He had 1.83 ERA in 34 1-3 innings against the Rays in the Bronx, and was 6-1 with a 2.98 ERA against them overall.

NOTES: Loney finished with three hits and an intentional walk after hitting into a double play in the first inning. … Molina easily stole a base in the top of the eighth inning. He took off for second, and Stewart couldn’t corral a high pitch, allowing the sturdy catcher to take the base easily. … With the Old-Timers lined up on the basepaths after being introduced, Yogi Berra was welcomed last. The 88-year-old Berra was brought out on a golf cart festooned with eight miniature American flags, and received a warm cheer from the fans and players on hand. Other highlights included pitcher Orlando Hernandez on the mound with his high socks and leg kick, Lou Piniella taking a couple big cuts before singling to center, David Wells throwing theatrically behind the head of Paul O’Neill at the plate, and Derek Jeter laughing in the dugout, surrounded by the stars of past Yankees teams … The Rays face Toronto on Monday night at home, where RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, with a 5.50 ERA) will face RHP Esmil Rogers (3-2, 3.14). … The Yankees are off Monday before hosting Texas for three games starting Tuesday night.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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