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Yankees Rally Late But Rays Hold On 8-6

Al Messerschmidt,Getty Images

The Yankees scored four times and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but Fernando Rodney got Alex Rodriguez to ground out to end it, and the Tampa Bay Rays have taken the first two games of the season after an 8-6 win on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Matt Joyce and Luke Scott drove in three runs apiece for the Tampa Bay offense which backed a strong 6 1/3 innings from David Price (1-0), who gave up five hits and two runs.

Hiroki Kuroda (0-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits and four walks, taking the loss in his Yankees debut.

Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez and Raul Ibanez each drove in a run for New York and Nick Swisher’s 3-run jack in the ninth cut the deficit to 8-6. Robinson Cano then worked a walk before Rodney came on to retire Rodriguez.

The Yankees will look to salvage the series finale Sunday at 1:40 with Phil Hughes going against Tampa’s Jeremy Hellickson.

Game note: A 2-run HR off the bat of Evan Longoria was overturned in the seventh inning when instant replay determined a fan (a Yankees fan no less) had reached over the right field wall to catch the ball, which otherwise would have landed in play. Longoria was sent back to second base with a ground-rule double and Carlos Pena was sent to third. Both scored on a single by Joyce.

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