We all hate that feeling of knowing that no matter what you do, there is just something making every break fall to the side of the opposing team. That was the case for the Yankees on Sunday.
Matt Moore took the ball coming off a series of great start, but the Yankees were primed to make destiny. Derek Jeter made his return to the Yankee lineup–this time, they hope it’s permanent–and slammed Moore’s first-pitch fastball for a solo home run. The Yankees somehow scored 3 runs in the inning after two infield singles, a sac fly, and an RBI single by Ichiro Suzuki. And then in the 3rd inning, returning Yankee hero Alfonso Soriano drilled a 2-run homer to make the score 5-4 Yankees. The Rays hit Yankees starter Phil Hughes hard, tagging him for 5 runs in 4+ innings including two home runs by Wil Myers, but it seemed like the Yankees had an answer whenever they rallied and they just could never pull away. Moore went 5 innings allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, departing in a tie game as the contest became a battle of the bullpens.
Alex Torres, Joel Peralta, and Jake McGee matched Preston Claiborne, Boone Logan, and David Robertson to take the game to the 9th in a 5-5 game. But then after Mariano Rivera tossed a perfect top of the 9th, the Yankees finished what they had started in the bottom of the inning as McGee tried and failed to go a second inning. A pair of walks, the second intentional, gave Soriano the winning run at 2nd with 1 out, and Soriano delivered a walk-off single to send the Yankees to a 6-5 victory.
Wil Myers had a career day, going 2 for 4 with 2 homers, 4 RBI, and 3 runs scored, and Evan Longoria, James Loney, and Kelly Johnson also had multiple-hit days. But the resurgent Yankees were on a mission. Soriano finally began to show his worth in pinstripes, going 4 for 5 with his homer, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored, and Jeter went 2 for 4 with his homer, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored as he returned with a bang. The Rays have been playing out of their minds of late, but there was something in the air for the Yankees and they were the better team on this afternoon. At the end of the day, though, the Rays won the series two games to one and will be right back in first place in the AL East with a win on Monday. David Price takes on Felix Doubront in a showdown for first place in the AL East at Fenway Park.