Yankees 4, Rays 3

Struggling Ichiro Suzuki came up big for the New York


Suzuki hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning and the

Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Tuesday night.

”I haven’t been able to do much, but hopefully things like this

will help me get past it,” Suzuki, who is hitting just .220 this

season, said through a translator.

Robinson Cano ended AL Cy Young Award winner David Price’s night

with a leadoff single in the ninth. After Cano stole second on a

pitch by Fernando Rodney that struck out Vernon Wells, pinch-hitter

Travis Hafner was intentionally walked and Lyle Overbay walked to

load the bases.

First baseman James Loney helped Rodney by making a sliding

catch on Chris Stewart’s foul ball, but Suzuki then drove in two

for a 4-2 lead on a liner to center.

”We put some tough at-bats on some really tough pitchers,”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Tampa Bay is winless in all five of Price’s starts this year.

The left-hander (0-2) allowed three runs and eight hits over

eight-plus innings.

”I thought he threw the ball really well tonight, so if he

throws the ball like that and we had scored four runs tonight, he

walks away and feels like he was fantastic,” Rays manager Joe

Maddon said. ”But we don’t score enough runs and he doesn’t feel

as good about himself. That’s just how this baseball thing


The only other team to lose the first five starts made by a

reigning Cy Young winner was the 1989 Minnesota Twins. They lost in

Frank Viola’s first seven starts before finally winning on May 9

that year.

A frustrated Price spent just about one minute talking with

reporters after the game, saying that there is no satisfaction from

what was called a better start and that he wanted to remain in the


”We’re still 0-5 when I pitch, I don’t feel good,” Price said.

”I want to be in that game. It’s like it’s my game to lose.”

David Robertson (1-0) worked a perfect eighth before Mariano

Rivera got his sixth save despite allowing Evan Longoria’s leadoff


Suzuki singled with one out in the eighth, went to third on

Jayson Nix’s single to left, and scored to get the Yankees even at

2 when Brett Gardner hit a grounder to second.

”I just had a feeling I could make it there,” Suzuki said.

”It was a steal and I was just running. I didn’t see where he hit

the ball but I heard it, and luckily when I looked up I saw the

ball in front of me.”

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the seventh on Jose Molina’s

run-scoring single off Phil Hughes, who allowed two runs and six

hits in seven innings.

”I felt like I had to pitch well,” Hughes said. ”Price wasn’t

going to continue the way he’d been throwing. I knew he was going

to be tough, and I though the game was over in the seventh after

making that bad pitch (to Molina). But thankfully the guys fought

back hard and got us the win.”

Ben Zobrist put the Rays up 1-0 on a first-inning sacrifice


The Yankees tied it at 1 on Wells’ RBI single in the fourth, but

Price avoided further damage by getting a fly ball from Ben

Francisco and Overbay’s double-play grounder with runners on first

and second with no outs.

Maddon’s effort during the current homestand to keep his team

loose Tuesday featured a cockatoo, which he had in clubhouse and

later on his shoulder as he held his pregame media session. In

previous games, Maddon had a DJ play music in the clubhouse and a

magician do card tricks, and promised a big animal finale on

Wednesday night when the homestand ends.

”Snakes are out,” Maddon said. ”I will not be in the

clubhouse with a snake. Regardless of what people say, I’m not on

board with that.”

Yankees infielder Kevin Youkilis was out of the starting lineup

for the third straight game with lower back tightness. Girardi

expects Youkilis will also miss Wednesday’s series finale.

NOTES: Price has given up six leads over his last three starts.

… New York SS Derek Jeter will be in a walking boot for a left

ankle injury when rejoins the team Thursday at Yankee Stadium. The

Yankees captain found out last Thursday that he fractured the ankle

for a second time in six months. … Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira

(wrist) continues taking dry swings with a bat, but hasn’t started

hitting off a tee. … Rivera met with a group of wounded soldiers

and veterans before the game. The closer, who is retiring after the

season, is taking part in events like that in road ballparks this

year. … Longoria has reached base in 34 straight games dating to

last season.