"I think it's fun winning -- bottom line," Perez said after
homering twice, including to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, and
driving in three runs to help the Devil Rays rally for a 4-3
victory in 11 innings Tuesday night.
"We already know what it is to lose, and we were pretty good at
it the first half of the season," the son of Hall of Famer Tony
Perez added. "Right now, we're learning how fun it is to win, and
we're learning how to win in many ways."
Jonny Gomes walked with the bases loaded in the 11th to give
Tampa Bay its eighth victory against New York this year.
The Devil Rays improved to 19-12 since the All-Star break and
snapped New York's five-game winning streak. After winning 15 of 19
games between the teams in 2004, the Yankees are 4-8 against Tampa
Bay this season.
"It was a very disappointing loss," Yankees manager Joe Torre
The Devil Rays rallied from a 3-0 deficit against Randy Johnson
and Mariano Rivera to force extra innings, then loaded the bases in
the 11th with Carl Crawford's double off Alan Embree (1-5) and two
walks, including Scott Proctor's intentional pass to Aubrey Huff.
Proctor, whose balk sent Crawford to third base after the
reliever replaced Embree, walked Gomes on four pitches to end the
Torre didn't second-guess his decision to walk Huff
intentionally to get to Gomes, who struck out his three previous
"It's not an enviable position, but you still have to do a
better job," Torre said. "He has a chance to get somebody out if
he throws it down the middle. If he walks, you can't."
Chad Orvella (2-2) threw two scoreless innings for the win.
Johnson, who skipped a scheduled start last Thursday because of
a bad back, allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. He
struck out seven and walked two, leaving with a 3-2 lead that
Rivera could not protect.
Perez's fourth homer against the Yankees this season made it
3-all with one out in the ninth. He also homered for the third time
this year off Johnson, hitting a two-run shot off the Yankees ace
in the sixth.
The blown save was Rivera's second in three outings following a
stretch in which he earned 31 in a row. The homer was only the
second he has allowed this season, with Boston's Jason Varitek
hitting the other on April 5.
"I'm not perfect, and today was tough. We should have won the
game, but I didn't do my job," Rivera said. "It was just one
pitch, but there was no margin for error."
Hideki Matsui singled to drive in two unearned runs off
right-hander Doug Waechter in the first inning. John Flaherty added
an RBI single in the second for a three-run lead that Johnson held
until Perez homered on a 3-0 pitch with two outs in the sixth.
The two-run shot gave Perez four hits in six at-bats against
Johnson this year. He also homered twice off the Big Unit in Tampa
Bay's 6-2 victory at Yankee Stadium on April 19.
While Flaherty's RBI single made it 3-0, the Yankees wasted an
opportunity to drive Waechter from the game in the second when
Robinson Cano grounded into a force play, Gary Sheffield struck out
and Alex Rodriguez grounded out -- all with the bases loaded -- to
end the inning.
The Yankees had the Devil Rays starter in trouble again when
Tino Martinez doubled with one out in the third. Bernie Williams
followed with a single, but Waechter escaped when Martinez was
thrown out at the plate trying to score on Williams' hit.
Johnson also settled down after a shaky start, allowing two
singles and a walk before bailing himself out of a bases loaded jam
in the first by getting Huff to ground into an inning-ending double
The left-hander retired eight straight batters after Nick Green
singled with one out in the third. Green singled again, leading off
the sixth, and Perez homered three batters later to get the Devil
Rays back in the game.
Waechter allowed three runs and nine hits in nine innings, the
closest Tampa Bay has come all season to a complete game.
Devil Rays SS Julio Lugo was scratched from the lineup. He
jammed his left hand sliding into second base Monday night, however
the injury is not believed to be serious. Regular 3B Alex Gonzalez
replaced Lugo at shortstop and committed two errors. ... Williams'
second-inning double gave the Yankees center fielder a season-high
five-game hitting streak. ... RHP Hideo Nomo, signed by the Yankees
after being designated for assignment by Tamp Bay last month,
suffered a setback Tuesday in his fourth start with Triple-A
Columbus. He allowed six runs, five hits and five walks in a 9-0
loss to Norfolk.