Tampa Bay Rays capitalize on Teixeira error and rally to beat New York Yankees

AP Baseball WriterJuly 3, 2012 

ST. PETERSBURG -- B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena homered and the Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of Mark Teixeira's first error of the season to beat the New York Yankees 4-3 on Monday night.

Pinch hitter Brooks Conrad's RBI double with two outs in the seventh inning off David Robertson (0-3) made it 3-all.

Teixeira followed by misplaying Elliot Johnson's sharp grounder over first base for his first error in 671 chances this year, enabling Conrad to score the go-ahead run. Teixeira shook his head after the ball scooted under his glove, allowing Johnson to reach third.

Matt Moore (5-5) allowed three runs while scattering nine hits over seven innings to win his fourth straight decision. The Rays stopped a two-game losing streak that had dropped them a season-high 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.

Upton and Pena homered off right-hander Freddy Gar

cia, filling in for the injured Andy Pettitte in a New York rotation also missing CC Sabathia. Reliever Joel Peralta worked a perfect eighth for Tampa Bay, and All-Star Fernando Rodney finished up to get his 23rd save in 24 opportunities.

Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, whose seventh-inninng sacrifice fly made it 3-2, drove in runs for the Yankees.

Garcia made four starts before being moved into the bullpen after allowing six runs in 1 2/3 innings of a 7-5 loss to Detroit. The right-hander returned to the rotation to fill in for Pettitte, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list after he fractured a bone in his left leg when he was hit by a batted ball against Cleveland on June 27.

New York scored twice in the first with help from Hideki Matsui, the former Yankees star who overran Teixeira's routine fly to right field that dropped for a RBI double. Alex Rodriguez singled, sending Teixeira to third before Cano lined a single up the middle to stake Garcia to a quick 2-0 lead.

Moore escaped further damage by getting Nick Swisher to hit into an inning-ending double play, then settled in to blank the Yankees over the next five innings to give the Rays a chance to come back. Upton's sixth homer of the season trimmed New York's lead to 2-1, and Pena's second in three nights made it 2-all.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Garcia, who had made 10 appearances out of the bullpen since being removed from the rotation, would be limited to 75 pitches. Pena, who's 5 for 42 lifetime against the right-hander, homered on Garcia's 74th -- and last -- pitch.

Garcia allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He finished with no walks and four strikeouts.


Sabathia, who strained his left groin on July 24, felt good after he resumed throwing Monday. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson threw a bullpen session and expects to make his next scheduled start on Thursday at Cleveland.

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