Game 158: Evan Longoria Helps Rays Eliminate Yankees 8-3

By David Hill

Evan Longoria had been in the midst of a rough stretch, with one home run in his last 29 games. Eventually, it had to be expected that he would break through and rediscover his power stroke. That breakthrough came tonight against the Yankees.

The Rays hit Yankees starter Phil Hughes hard off the bat, but only had a run to show for their efforts when Wil Myers and James Loney hit consecutive doubles to put Tampa on the board. The Yankees came back in the bottom of the inning when Robinson Cano doubled in a run to tie the game.

Tampa continued to hit Hughes hard. David DeJesus drove in a run with a base hit, and after an infield single loaded the bases, Hughes was pulled as the Yankees were trying to hold on to their playoff lives. A sacrifice fly gave the Rays a two run lead, but the Yankees continued to fight back. Eduardo Nunez led off the third with a home run, but Price settled in from that point, setting down the last ten batters he faced.

Longoria put the game away for the Rays in the sixth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Longoria hit a three run shot to left to give the Rays plenty of breathing room. DeJesus followed with a solo shot of his own, providing Price with all the support he needed.

Price lasted through seven solid innings, giving up two runs on six hits, striking out eight Yankees hitters. Not only did he continue throwing strikes and pounding the zone, but he appeared to get himself back on track after a rough start his last time out.

New York pulled closer after loading the bases with two outs in the eighth. Pinch hitter Lyle Overbay walked to force in a run, but that was as close as the Yankees would get. Joel Peralta got Curtis Granderson to ground out, ending the threat.

Longoria hit another home run in the top of the ninth, providing the final margin of victory in the Rays 8-3 triumph over the Yankees. Longoria was 3-5 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBIs.

Loney was 3-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI and a walk in the victory.