- Front Porch
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Dean Anna wasn’t nervous during a key at-bat in extra innings. He was enjoying it.
Anna drew a bases-loaded walk on a full-count pitch with two outs in the 12th inning and Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 on Sunday.
“I was having fun,” Anna said. “Baseball is all about moments, and that was a moment right there.”
Yangervis Solarte was walked by Heath Bell (0-1) to open the 12th. After failing twice to bunt against C.J. Riefenhauser, Brett Gardner reached on a fielder’s choice and went to third on Brian McCann’s two-out single. Jacoby Ellsbury was intentionally walked before Anna checked his swing to complete an eight-pitch at-bat and drive in the go-ahead run.
“Just a tremendous at-bat,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Tough situation.”
Beltran had his hit off Josh Leuke before Alfonso Soriano added an RBI single that made it 5-1.
Preston Claiborne (1-0) went two scoreless innings for the Yankees.
The teams split a wild four-game series. After the Yankees beat David Price and the Rays 10-2 in Thursday’s opener, Tampa Bay rebounded for 11-5 and 16-1 victories Friday and Saturday.
Derek Jeter opened the 11th with a single off Bell. Ichiro Suzuki pinch-ran for Jeter and stole second with one out, but Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon challenged the call and after a 2 minute, 4 second delay the umpires changed the close call to out.
“I’m taking a chance to get a run there,” Girardi said. “Ich probably had a better chance of stealing a base. It’s a hard decision, but some of the inexperience I have in my bullpen, I went for it that inning.”
New York took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Gardner was given an RBI double after a challenge by Girardi. The umpires first ruled that Rays right fielder Wil Myers had caught Gardner’s drive at the wall for the third out. The call was overturned following a 2:17 delay after replays clearly showed Myers caught the ball after it hit off the top of the wall.
Gardner thought an inside-the-park homer might have been in order, but still was happy that replay was used.
“If we don’t have it, it would be a flyball,” Gardner said.
Soriano, who opened the fourth with a double, was on third and was awarded home on the overturned decision.
Tampa Bay tied it at 1 on pinch-hitter Matt Joyce’s two-out sacrifice fly in the seventh. The Rays capitalized after second baseman Brian Roberts dropped a throw on a force play earlier in the inning.
“We’ve been swinging the bats so well and today we were just minus,” Maddon said.
“There’s really no solid explanation. I can’t stand here and say the Yankees pitched great. We just did not have a good offensive day.”
New York starter Vidal Nuno, in the mix to take the spot of injured starter Ivan Nova, allowed three hits over five shutout innings. The Yankees put Nova, who was hurt in Saturday’s game, on the 15-day disabled list with a partial ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right elbow that could require surgery.
Cesar Ramos, who replaced the injured Matt Moore in the Rays’ rotation, gave up one run and four hits in five innings. Moore is scheduled to have elbow ligament replacement surgery Tuesday.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira had a second-inning single in his first at-bat and finished 2 for 5 after being activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game.
Teixeira hurt an adductor muscle that runs alongside the hamstring trying to make a play on a foul grounder during an April 4 game against Toronto.
NOTES: Riefenhauser was optioned to Triple-A Durham after the game to make room for RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo (elbow surgery) to come off the DL Tuesday. ... Tampa Bay CF Desmond Jennings (groin) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. ... Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (2-0) and Red Sox LHP Jon Lester (2-2) will start in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park Tuesday night. ... Rays LHP David Price (2-1) and Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson (3-0) will pitch Tuesday night to start a three-game series. ... Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff got a marriage proposal from her boyfriend just before throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
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