Game 81: Sean Rodriguez Keys Comeback

By David Hill

After a June where Sean Rodriguez hit .181, he must have been glad to see the calender page turn.

Rodriguez finished 3-4 with a home run, a double, and 2 RBIs, and Desmond Jennings stole 2 bases, including a steal of home in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Rays rallied back to top the Yankees 7-4.

Rays starter James Shields allowed 3 quick runs through the first three innings, highlighted by a Dewayne Wise home run in the top of the third, before the Rays came back to tie the game in the bottom of the frame. With one run already in, Jeff Keppinger hit a two out single to center, scoring Jennings and B.J. Upton to knot the score at 3-3.

The Yankees scored in the top of the fourth on an Eric Chavez RBI single, taking a short lived 4-3 lead. Following a Jose Molina base hit, Rodriguez got his night kicked off with a two run homer, putting the Rays ahead for good. The Rays expanded the lead in the bottom of the seventh, as Jennings stole home on the back end of a double steal, and Zobrist drove in Upton with a base hit.

Shields survived a rocky start to the night to end up lasting 7 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 10 hits while striking out 5 batters. Yankees starter Ivan Nova was victimized by 3 Yankee errors behind him, as he lasted 6+ innings, giving up 6 runs, but only 3 were earned. Nova allowed 7 hits and 2 walks, while recording 5 strikeouts.