By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 6- The Tampa Rays snapped a seven game losing streak with an 8-1 victory over the Yanks on Sunday afternoon. The Tampa win also ended the three-game winning streak of the Yanks, but New York is still in first place in the American League East.
Two of the Rays offensive standouts, Evan Longoria and James Loney, have found Yankee pitching especially vulnerable to their bats and Yankee Stadium as comfortable as a second home. Third sacker Longoria doubled, singled and walked in five trips to the plate on Sunday, the final game of the three game set.
His double in the first moved David DeJesus to third with one out. The next batter, Loney, singled in both runners. Although the Rays scored six additional runs in the game, the first two were sufficient to ensure the win for Tampa.
The Tampa skipper remarked, “Those early runs really helped.” Erasmo Ramirez, the Tampa starter, felt the first inning support helped him greatly, “In the first inning you got run support antd then you just have to do your thing. You have to keep the ball down and in the ballpark.”
Longoria’s statistics against the Yankees since his major league debut in 2008 are extremely impressive. He has hit more home runs (28) and driven in more runs (84) against the Yanks than any other player. His home runs (13) and RBI (40) have not been bettered by any visiting player in the current Yankee Stadium. His 62 hits are second only to Nick Markakis (72).
Although Loney’s 2 RBI single was his only hit in five official at bats on Sunday, his batting average at the current Yankee stadium is .405 (45 for 12), which only follows Justin Morneau (.433) and Kurt Suzuki (.411).In 55 games against the yanks Loney is batting .340 and has an OPS of .857.
The only run scored by the Yankees came on a lead-off home run by Alex Rodriguez in the sixth off starter Erasmo Ramirez, the winning pitcher. A-Rod’s career offensive statistics are growing higher on an almost daily basis. His home run gave him 1,964 runs scored, 3,016 hits, 670 home runs and 2,016 runs batted in.
The post-game comments of each manager were very different. Kevin Cash of the Rays said, “We really needed that.” Yankees skipper Joe Girardi remarked, “You just need to turn the page.”
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