Series: Game 4 of 4

NY Yankees won 4-0

Game 1: Monday, September 6
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NY Yankees7
Game 2: Monday, September 6
Tampa BayPostponed
NY Yankees
Game 2: Tuesday, September 7
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NY Yankees11
Game 3: Wednesday, September 8
Tampa BayPostponed
NY Yankees
Game 3: Wednesday, September 8
Tampa BayPostponed
NY Yankees
Game 3: Thursday, September 9
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Game 4: Thursday, September 9
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Devil Rays 5

(59-79, 23-45 away)

Yankees 10

(88-52, 50-21 home)

    6:35 PM ET, September 9, 2004

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    R H E
    TB - -
    NYY - -

    W: T. Sturtze (6-2)

    L: R. Bell (6-8)

    Yanks outhit Rays 26-18 in doubleheader

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Yankees turned a long day into a productive one -- at the plate and in the AL East standings.

    Gary Sheffield and Tony Clark each drove in two runs during a seven-run second inning, and New York completed a doubleheader sweep of the sinking Tampa Bay Devil Rays with a 10-5 victory Thursday night.

    "Doubleheaders are so tough to win," manager Joe Torre said. "I don't care what time of year it is, everything has to break right. I think we realized that we're at the time of year now that we have to win every game."

    The Yankees won all four games in the rain-shortened series and have won five in a row overall. They extended their AL East lead over Boston by at least a half-game, the first time they've increased the margin since Aug. 23.

    The Red Sox, trailing by three games, played at Seattle late Thursday night.

    "You can't worry about Boston unless you're playing Boston," Derek Jeter said. "The bottom line is they can't catch us if we're winning."

    Mike Mussina threw eight sharp innings in a 9-1 victory in the opener, which started with just a few hundred fans in the stands. Yankee Stadium filled up a bit more for the nightcap, with the paid attendance announced as 41,230.

    The teams played two games because Wednesday's doubleheader was rained out. The first game Wednesday was supposed to be a makeup of Monday's doubleheader that was changed to a single night game when the Devil Rays were unable to get to New York in time for Game 1 due to Hurricane Frances.

    It was still uncertain when or if the unplayed game would be made up.

    Tanyon Sturtze (6-2) took over for starter Brad Halsey in the fourth inning of the nightcap and allowed two hits and walked one in 3 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.

    "Once we got in there and scored, I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes as fast as I could," Sturtze said.

    Jeter and John Flaherty homered for the Yankees, who outscored the Devil Rays 19-6 and outhit them 26-18 in the doubleheader. Jeter was 5-for-9 with a homer and three RBIs in the two games.

    "We hadn't been hitting a great deal before this series," Torre said. "I know we've beaten them, obviously a lot, but it's good for our confidence. Especially coming off the rainout yesterday, you don't know what to expect. We certainly weren't flat."

    B.J. Upton homered in the second game for the Devil Rays, who have lost a season-high 11 straight -- their longest skid since dropping 15 in a row from April 25 to May 10, 2002.

    "Our pitching's got to get better," manager Lou Piniella said. "We're out of ballgames before they start."

    Upton made a dazzling play in the fourth, robbing Alex Rodriguez of a hit when he went deep into the hole at shortstop and fired an incredibly strong, off-balance throw to first from the outfield grass. Jeter, standing at second after a double, flashed a big smile, impressed by one of baseball's best prospects.

    "That was nice," Jeter said. "It was a really good play."

    After Upton gave the Devil Rays a 1-0 lead in the first, the Yankees broke it open against Rob Bell (6-8) in the second, scoring seven times on eight hits including two in the inning by Hideki Matsui.

    "It was just a tough situation," Bell said. "I put these guys in a hole right away."

    Bell allowed seven runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.

    The Devil Rays got two runs back in the third and loaded the bases against Halsey with one out in the fourth. But Sturtze came in and got Rocco Baldelli on a shallow fly and struck out Upton to escape the jam.

    "He put not only a Band-Aid, but he put a tourniquet on the situation," Torre said.

    Halsey allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.

    Flaherty homered leading off the sixth against John Halama, making it 8-3. One out later, Jeter homered off Jesus Colome, who left with tightness in his right shoulder.

    Flaherty added an RBI single in the seventh.

    Baldelli hit a two-run double in the eighth to make it 10-5.

    In the first game, Mussina (10-9) allowed one run, four hits, struck out six and walked none to win for the first time since June 27.

    "Today, he was as good as he can be," Torre said.

    Rodriguez, Sheffield and Matsui each drove in two runs for the Yankees, who scored three times in the first off Dewon Brazelton (6-7).

    Brazelton allowed seven runs -- six earned -- and nine hits in three-plus innings. He dropped to 0-5 on the road this season and 0-11 away from Tampa Bay in his career.

    Game Notes
    Jeter left in the bottom of the ninth in the second game after fouling a pitch off his left foot in the top of the inning. He said he's fine. ... Yankees slugger Jason Giambi was the DH for Triple-A Columbus in Game 1 of its International League playoff series against Richmond. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, a groundout and two walks as the Clippers lost 2-1 in 13 innings. ... Plate umpire Jerry Crawford was hit in the side of the head by a deflected pitch, forcing him to leave after the second inning of the first game. He was taken to the hospital, where a CT scan was negative. He was diagnosed with a concussion.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press