Yankees 4, Devil Rays 2, 10 innings

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Alex Rodriguez snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a RBI single in the 10th inning, helping the New York Yankees finish a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Wednesday night.

Rodriguez, who has two hits in his last 18 at-bats broke a 2-2 tie with a line drive to centerfield off Ruddy Lugo, driving in Johnny Damon, who led off the 10th with a ground-rule double off Tyler Walker (0-2).

Hideki Matsui followed with a RBI single to make it 4-2.

Kyle Farnsworth (1-0), the fourth of five Yankees pitchers, worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the victory. Mariano Rivera pitched the 10th for his fifth save in six opportunities.

Light-hitting Tomas Perez hit a two-run homer off Yankees right-hander Jaret Wright to give the Devil Rays a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Pinch-hitters Jorge Posada and Miguel Cairo drove in runs charged to Tampa Bay starter Casey Fossum to make it 2-2 in the seventh.

Perez was an unlikely candidate to snap a scoreless tie, considering he was mired in a 2-for-32 skid that included a stretch of eight straight strikeouts – one shy of the major league record for a non-pitcher.

Wright allowed two runs and three hits in six innings. In addition to Perez’s second homer since Aug. 30, 2004, the Yankees starter gave up Carl Crawford’s infield single in the fourth and a ground single to Sean Burroughs, who scored on Perez’s homer.

Fossum took a three-hit shutout into the seventh inning of a 5-2 victory over Boston last Friday and was equally stingy against Yankees until the seventh with help from double-play grounders in the second, fifth and sixth.

The left-hander also escaped a jam in the fourth after hitting Jason Giambi with a pitch and giving up a two-out single to Matsui. Giambi was stranded at third when Bernie Williams hit a dribbler up the third base line and Fossum threw him out at first.

The Yankees let the Devil Rays starter off the hook in the sixth when Rodriguez, who’s hitting .242 with runners in scoring position, grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Fossum wasn’t as fortunate in the seventh. Williams singled for the Yankees’ third hit and Robinson Cano double to finish Fossum. Posada singled off Orvella to trim Tampa Bay’s lead to 2-1, and New York tied on Cairo’s RBI grounder to third base.

Fossum allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Notes: Yankees RF Gary Sheffield missed his third consecutive game with a left wrist injury. Sheffield said he was “encouraged” after undergoing treatment and didn’t rule returning in the next couple days. … Fossum has pitched much better at home than on the road. In three starts at Tropicana Field, he’s allowed five runs and 11 hits in 19 1-3 innings. In three road starts, he’s given up 16 runs and 23 hits in 15 innings. … The same defensive shift Tampa Bay used a couple of times last weekend against Boston’s David Ortiz was employed against Giambi in three of the New York designated hitter’s five plate appearances. In addition to positioning third baseman Sean Burroughs in deep left as a fourth outfielder, second baseman Ty Wigginton was stationed in shallow right. Giambi walked on five pitches in his first at-bat and was hit by a pitch his next time up. He struck out the third time.

AP-ES-05-03-06 2224EDT

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