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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Bronx, NY (Sept 21) – The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays by the score of 5-0 on Tuesday night. Ivan Nova made the start and pitched great. He looked like he definitely earned the number two spot in the rotation for the postseason. The Yankees offense was good enough but they could have done a lot more damage.
The Yankees had runners on base all night and they did not do that much damage with it although they scored the five runs. Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner had good games, they have been in slumps and they are getting hot at the right time.
Nova pitched 7 2/3 innings giving up no runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out three. Nova earned his 16th win of the season. Boone Logan pitched 1/3 of an inning retiring the only batter he faced and Luis Ayala pitched an inning giving up no runs and a walk.
Derek Jeter had two hits, a walk, Curtis Granderson had three hits, four RBI and a walk, and Mark Teixeira had a hit and a walk. Alex Rodriguez had two walks, Robinson Cano had a hit and Nick Swisher had a hit and a walk. Eric Chavez had two hits and an RBI, Russell Martin had two hits and a walk and Brett Gardner had two hits. Swisher, Granderson, Cano all had doubles, Granderson racked up two. The Yankees were 5-20 with runners in scoring position and they left 18 men on base.
In the second inning, Chavez had an RBI single and Granderson had a three run double to make it 4-0. In the fifth inning, Granderson had an RBI single to make it 5-0 Yankees. That would be all the scoring in the game. The Rays had a big chance in the sixth inning; they loaded the bases with no outs. Nova got Desmond Jennings to fly out and B.J. Upton to ground into a double play to end the inning. That was the best chance the Rays had all night. The Yankees had plenty of chances to really open up the game but never did but they scored more than enough on this night.
The Yankees won the first of four games against the Tampa Bay Rays. The two teams will play a split doubleheader tomorrow. The games are at 1:00PM and 7:00PM. Phil Hughes is scheduled to start the day game but has been battling back spasms and if he cannot go Joe Girardi said he will figure it out tomorrow morning. CC Sabathia is scheduled to pitch the night game.
The Yankees magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two and three to clinch the AL East. The Yankees have a chance to end everything tomorrow, if they win one of the games, they will officially be in the postseason and if they win both and the Red Sox lose, they will clinch the division. The Red Sox are in a free fall and lucky that the Rays lost to the Yankees.
The Angels are still right there though and they won on Tuesday. There is a chance that the Angels could sneak in there and win the wild card. The way the Red Sox are playing even if they hold on, they do not look like they can win a playoff series.