The New York Yankees had not yet won a series in the early going, but that all changed this weekend. By defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Sunday afternoon, the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of their division rivals in St. Petersburg. In so doing, the Yankees have evened their record at 6-6 to move into third place in the A.L. East.
Chase Headley led the way with two hits and two runs batted in (7) in successive at bats in the third and fifth. In the third, Headley followed Mark Teixeira's RBI ground ball with an infield hit that scored Alex Rodriguez. Those two runs put the Yankees ahead to stay.
In the fifth, Headley added some insurance when he doubled home Rodriguez, who walked to open the inning. Rodriguez was 1 for 3 himself with two runs scored, and he his hitting .316 so far on the young season.
The Yankees scored first in the first inning when Teixeira brought home Jacoby Ellsbury with a sacrifice fly. They scored run #4 in the fourth on a sac fly from backup catcher John Ryan Murphy.
Tampa Bay took an early 2-1 lead on Steven Souza's two-run shot (3) that scored David DeJesus ahead of him. Souza drove home the third Rays run in the fifth with an RBI double that also scored DeJesus. Souza has 10 RBI on the season, which ties him for seventh in the American League as of the end of the Rays' game on Sunday.
Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00 ERA) is healthy and showing some of the promise that led to his acquisition three years ago. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, including Souza's home run. Pineda also walked one and struck out five. Andrew Miller (S: 4) gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Brett in the ninth but then struck out the next three Rays to notch the save.
Rays starter Matt Andriese (L: 0-1, 6.75) lasted only 3 1/3 innings. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits while walking two and fanning one.
The Rays have Monday off, but the Yankees will travel to take on the red hot Detroit Tigers to begin a four-game series. On Tuesday, the Rays will stay home and welcome the division-leading Boston Red Sox, who are tied for first with Baltimore Orioles.