NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 14: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after earning a five out save against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia and the Yankees were precisely what the doctor ordered. Following a disappointing series fail at the hands of the O’s, the Rays bounced back and ground out a much-needed win against the Bronx Bummers. Tampa Bay now finds itself three games behind both the Yankees and the O’s, who also lost last night. Tampa Bay is hungry for another win against Ivan Nova who’s coming off the DL.

This victory was a very Rays like victory, one that wasn’t predicated on a huge slug fest. In short, it was the kind of game that they should put together consistently. It was hard-fought game, with the Rays doing all they could to win. Tampa Bay drove in as many runs in nine innings last night as they had in the previous 32 innings against the Orioles.

Granted there were opportunities for the Yankees to defeat the Rays, but they didn’t. And instead of rolling over, the Rays continued to put men on the bags, crossing the plate in the fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. True, they put up a .267 BABIP last night, lower than what they’ve averaged both on the road and over the last 14 days. But Tampa Bay came up big when it mattered. They scored three runs in the fifth inning after falling behind the Yankees 1-0, and they never looked back.

The Yankees would rally back in the fifth and eighth innings (respectively) on a pair of Granderson and Rodriguez taters, but the Rays met their rally, scoring three more runs and ultimately suppressing the Yankees, while never relenting the lead. Bulleted highlights and low-lights after the scoring synopsis.

You know, why not use ESPN’s scoring synopsis? I mean, it’s so colorful…
  • How we wish that David Price could start every game against the Yankees. Price, now 7-3 against the Yankees, posted a 7 IP/5 H/2 ER/2 BB/6 K/1 HR line, while throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the Yankees. He didn’t look particularly sharp in the first inning, though he eventually tightened things up, inducing 10 ground balls while looking pretty damn whiffy on his off-speed pitches where he produced swings and misses just over 20% of the time.
  • Upton bashed his 23rd homer of the year, driving in his 68th RBI, and giving the Rays a 5-2 lead.
  • Okay Elliot Johnson, you royally biffed things up on a misplayed ball off the bat of Derek Jeter. BUT you made a pretty great play an out later off the bat of A-Roid to end the inning. Plus, you went 1-3 with two runs and a run batted in. So yeah, uh…thanks for not sucking.
  • Fernando Rodney locked down his 43rd save of the year, just two shy of he who now pitches for the Yankees. Let the arrow fly.
  • We’ll be following Cool Standings for the next 18 games. You should too!
Sure, the Rays have a 32% chance of making the playoffs at the moment. However, they increased their odds by 6% following their win and the Orioles loss. Let’s pray to the baseball gods, for more of the same today! (Courtesy of

We’ll post the starting lineup when it becomes available.

Rays 9/15/12 Starting Lineup

Jennings LF
Zobrist SS
Longoria DH
Upton CF
Keppinger 3B
Joyce RF
Roberts 2N
Pena 1B
Molina C
Shields RHP

Noteworthiness: With Roberts back at second and Longo at DH, Keppinger gets the start at third while Peña handles the first base duties. Joyce is back in the lineup since there’s a righty (Nova) on the mound. Tampa Bay has also reactivated Sean Rodriguez from the DL.

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