Wed, Apr 15, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Rays steamroller Yankees as Pena hits grand slam


New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming wipes his head after being relieved from the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the second inning in St Petersburg, Florida, on Monday.



Carlos Pena belted a second-­inning grand slam home run for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 15-5 rout of the New York Yankees on Monday.

The Rays led 9-0 after two innings as Yankees starter Wang Chien-ming (王建民) (0-2) gave up six hits before being relieved with none out in the second and Tampa Bay already 5-0 ahead.

Pena drove the third pitch from Jonathan Albaledejo over the right-field fence for his grand slam. The Rays’ first baseman also had a two-run double off Wang in a four-run first inning as he went 3-for-6 and drove in six runs.

“They killed us from the get-go,” the Yankees’ Derek Jeter told reporters.

Collectively the Rays pounded five New York pitchers for 17 hits.

Yankees first baseman Nick Swisher even took a turn on the mound, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. He gave up just one hit while striking out one and walking one in becoming the first position player to pitch for the Yankees since 1997.

“We know we didn’t play very well today,” said Swisher, who homered in the fourth. “You’ve got to find something to laugh about in that moment. I just happened to be the guy everyone was laughing at.”

Pena and shortstop Jason Bartlett both had three hits for Tampa Bay, which raised its 2008 American League championship banner before the game.

Scott Kazmir (2-0) earned the win, allowing six hits and three runs over six-and-two-third innings. He struck out six and walked none.

“I had fun just watching the game,” Kazmir said. “It seemed like every inning there was something that really stood out.”


In Minneapolis, Travis Snider hit two home runs, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the eighth inning, as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins.

Toronto has now beaten Minnesota 10 straight times.

The win kept the Blue Jays top of the AL East division in the early part of the season, ahead of traditional powers New York and Boston.


In Arlington, Texas, Aubrey Huff went 4-for-5 at bat to help Baltimore edge Texas.

Huff had three of Baltimore’s seven RBI singles, enough to stay ahead of the Rangers from the fourth inning onward.

Texas has lost four consecutive games after its first 3-0 start since 1996.

Also on Wednesday it was:

• White Sox 10, Tigers 6

• Athletics 8, Red Sox 2

• Royals 4, Indians 2



The San Diego Padres spoiled the New York Mets’ first game in their glittering new ballpark with a 6-5 win in the National League on Monday.

San Diego’s Jody Gerut christened Citi Field with a leadoff homer, putting the Padres on the way to a four-run lead against a mistake-ridden New York. The Mets drew level at 4-4.

It was the fifth straight win for San Diego, who are defying predictions of a bad season.


In Phoenix, Brian Barden broke a tie with his first career home run, giving St Louis victory over Arizona.

Albert Pujols also homered for the Cardinals.

With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth, Barden lined a pitch over the fence in right field. It was the first homer in 51 big league at-bats for Barden, who briefly played for the Diamondbacks in 2007.


In Chicago, the hosts won their home opener, holding Colorado to just one hit.

Starter Ted Lilly held Colorado hitless until the seventh inning.

Also on Wednesday it was:

• Dodgers 11, Giants 1

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