David Robertson blows save, Yankees lose to Rays 4-1
Mariano Rivera watched the Yankees' victory Tuesday from his couch, "sweating" out, he said, David Robertson's ninth inning in which he loaded the bases but eventually recorded the save.
The Yankees' new closer made Rivera and everyone else sweat it out again last night.
Called on to protect a 1-0 lead, Robertson loaded the bases and B.J. Upton's sacrifice fly tied it at 1. He then served up a three-run homer to the next batter, Matt Joyce, to put the Yankees in a 4-1 hole.
In the eighth inning, Rafael Soriano allowed a leadoff single to B.J. Upton but got Matt Joyce to hit a hard grounder to second, the makings of a 4-6-3 double play. But Robinson Cano's throw pulled Derek Jeter off the bag at second, giving the Rays two runners with none out.
Soriano then struck out Luke Scott before Will Rhymes came next and smashed one to Mark Teixeira at first. Teixeira scooped the ball and threw to Jeter at second to erase Joyce for the second out. Pinch hitter Desmond Jennings flew to short left to end the inning.
David Phelps, getting his second major-league start, pitched well, though he didn't last long enough to record a decision.
He allowed three hits in 4 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out three. In his previous start, Thursday in Kansas City, Phelps allowed two runs and six hits in four innings, throwing 85 pitches.
Phelps threw 28 in the first inning last night, seeming to portend another short outing. After throwing a first-pitch strike to leadoff man Ben Zobrist, the rightfielder lined a double down the rightfield line. Carlos Peña then walked.
Phelps got B.J. Upton to fly out and Joyce's 4-6 fielder's choice grounder put runners on the corners with two outs. The righthander walked Scott to load the bases, but got out of it by inducing a Will Rhymes groundout to second.
Phelps would take the mound in the second with a 1-0 lead. Jeter, coming in with a .392 average, smashed a ground single under the glove of Peña at first.
Niemann retired Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez but Cano, slowly pulling himself out of his five-week slump to start the season, laced an opposite-field double to left for a 1-0 lead. Teixeira lined out to first to end the inning.
Phelps' second inning couldn't have been much different from his first. He struck out Elliot Johnson to start, then got Sean Rodriguez to fly to medium center and Chris Gimenez to pop out in foul ground to Teixeira, ending a nine-pitch inning.
After the walk to Scott in the first, Phelps retired seven straight, the streak broken in the fourth when Joyce led off with a single. But Phelps stopped any chances of a rally, getting Scott to ground into a fielder's choice, Rhymes to pop out, then striking out Johnson looking at a 92-mph fastball.
Phelps appeared as if he'd cruise through the fifth inning but instead failed to finish it. Rodriguez grounded to short to lead off and Gimenez flew to right. Phelps got ahead of Zobrist, 0-and-2, but the leadoff man lined a double to right-center. Phelps then lost his command, walking the next two batters to load the bases and bring manager Joe Girardi out of the dugout to bring in lefthander Boone Logan to face the lefthanded hitting Joyce.
Phelps left to a standing ovation and soon after so did Logan, who struck out Joyce swinging. Joyce fell to 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in his career against Logan.