ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Rocco Baldelli had a flight to
catch, so he wasn't excited about the prospect of playing extra
The speedy Tampa Bay center fielder made two big defensive plays
in the late innings and doubled before scoring the winning run
Sunday in the Devil Rays' 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the New York Yankees.
"He made two plays that I wanted to applaud myself," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said. "It was spectacular, what can you say?"
In one of his best all-around performances since coming off the
disabled list after missing 221 games because of leg, knee and
elbow injuries, Baldelli threw out Melky Cabrera trying to score
the go-ahead run for New York in the seventh inning and made a
diving catch to rob Derek Jeter of an extra-base hit in the ninth.
In between the defensive gems, he doubled in the seventh and
scored on Jorge Cantu's RBI single off Scott Proctor (2-2). With
the Yankees needing a run to tie, he sped up at the last moment to
get into position to make the catch on Jeter's line drive in the
"Well," Baldelli said, explaining the adjustment. "I had a
Cantu and Aubrey Huff homered and drove in three runs apiece,
helping Tampa Bay rally from a five-run deficit.
Cantu's two-run homer off Ron Villone erased a 5-3 New York lead
in the fifth inning. He broke the tie in the seventh after Baldelli
doubled to left and Proctor walked Huff intentionally.
The Yankees threatened to go ahead in the seventh when Cabrera
reached on a bunt single and continued to second on catcher Dioner Navarro's throwing error. Baldelli showed how far he's come from
Tommy John surgery by throwing out Cabrera trying to score from
second base on Bernie Williams' two-out single off Tim Corcoran
"That's the first good one I've made since I've come back, so
it felt good" Baldelli said. "I tried to throw it as hard as I
could and hoped it was on line."
With owner George Steinbrenner watching from his private box at
Tropicana Field, the Yankees took a 5-0 lead on Jason Giambi's 11th
career grand slam and an error that allowed a fifth run to score
against Tampa Bay starter Casey Fossum in the third.
Huff began the Devil Rays' comeback with a three-run homer off
New York starter Kris Wilson in the bottom of the third.
Corcoran allowed three hits, but kept the Yankees from scoring
in one-plus innings to get the win. Brian Meadows pitched the ninth
for his fifth save in five opportunities.
"It's frustrating," said New York's Alex Rodriguez, who was
0-for-11 in the series with five strikeouts. "We thought it had
the potential to be a blowout. We didn't add more runs to the
The victory denied New York a sweep of the three-game series and
gave Tampa Bay a 4-3 record against first-place Boston and the
second-place Yankees during a difficult seven-game homestand
heading into the All-Star break.
Wilson allowed three runs and five hits in his first major
league start since 2003, when he was 6-3 with the Kansas City
Royals. Villone retired the first five batters he faced before Huff
doubled and Cantu hit his sixth homer with two outs in the fifth.
Fossum settled down after walking two and hitting Jeter in the
right foot with a pitch to load the bases for Giambi, who hit his
first grand slam since Sept. 23, 2003, against the Chicago White Sox.
The Yankees added a fifth run in the third when Williams doubled
and scored when Cantu let Andy Phillips' routine grounder skip past
him for an error.
It was a major league-high 18th time the Yankees have scored
five or more runs in an inning.
Fossum allowed five runs and five hits in six innings. He struck
out four and retired seven in a row before being replaced by
Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said a tender middle finger
on LHP Scott Kazmir's throwing hand is not a problem and the team
would have no concern about him pitching in the All-Star game on
Tuesday night. A callous on the finger softened during Saturday's
start against the Yankees, but Kazmir said it didn't affect his
performance. ... Yankees C Jorge Posada did not start after playing
the first two games of the series. He pinch-hit in the eighth and
struck out with the tying run on second. Posada said before the
game that his wife and children were aboard a flight from New York
to Tampa in which a U.S. Army soldier was tackled by passengers
after running down the aisle and ramming the cockpit door on
Thursday. "It's a weird experience. Nothing happened, thank God
for that," Posada said. "I'm glad that everything is OK. You
don't want to experience it, but it happened and you go on."