What it means: A Fourth of July without fireworks for six innings blows up from the seventh inning on. A home run by Mark Teixeira ties it for the Yankees, a two-run bomb by Carlos Peña gives the Rays the lead back, and then a bullpen implosion by Tampa Bay, ignited by ex-Yankee Kyle Farnsworth, allows the Yankees to avoid a sweep at The Trop with a 4-3 win.
Independence day: With the win, the Yankees are finally free of their losing streak here under the big top, which since last July had been Tropicana Tomb for them, with nine straight losses.
O say Cano see: Robinson Cano's two-run single to center in the eighth inning gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead and proved to be the margin of victory. Coming to bat after Farnsworth walked four straight batters, Cano jumped on a 2-2 fastball from Jake McGee. Cano now has a team-leading 50 RBIs.
Seems like old times: Farnsworth faced five batters and walked four of them, including Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded. He was charged with three runs and needed 26 pitches to get his only out, a strikeout of Derek Jeter.
Boom Logan: Boone Logan, the "lefty specialist,'' surrendered a two-run bomb to Peña, hanging a first-pitch slider with one out and a runner on first in the seventh to give the Rays a 3-1 lead, but wound up with the win when the Yankees came back to take the lead in the top of the eighth.
Mark it up: After managing just two singles off David Price in the first six innings, the Yankees tied the game on Teixeira's solo home run, No. 14, leading off the seventh.
Legs-Rod: A-Rod legged a single into a double following Teixeira's home run, challenging Upton to throw him out. Then, he stole third. Or did he?
Legs-Rod, Take 2: A-Rod's first attempt to steal third was successful, but he was sent back to second when it was ruled that home plate ump Mike Estabrook had inadvertently interfered with catcher Jose Lobaton's attempt to throw Rodriguez out. The ruling possibly cost the Yankees a run when Andruw Jones flied out to center, a play that probably would have scored A-Rod from third. Not to be deterred, A-Rod did it again during Russell Martin's at-bat, and made it, but went no further when Martin grounded out to end the inning.
Cameo appearance: The same bugaboo that sandbagged David Phelps the last time around, too many balls and too high a pitch count, cost him again. Despite holding the Rays hitless for 3 2/3 innings, he couldn't make it out of the fifth, reaching his pitch count with one out and a runner on first. Phelps struck out eight but walked three batters and hit two others, and had a runner in scoring position in all but the second inning, in which he struck out the side.
O for Canada: Another tough day for Martin. The Quebec native went 0-for-4 to run his futility streak to 0-for-27 (0-for-35 if you count the eight bases the Rays stole on him and the Yankees the last two games).
Ouch!: Rays second baseman Jeff Keppinger was hit by Phelps in the first inning and had to leave the game with bruised biceps.
Tomorrow: Day off, followed by the opener of a four-game series with Boston on Friday night at Fenway, Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.17) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.06).