The Tampa Bay Devil Rays batted around on the struggling
40-year-old in the first inning Tuesday night, scoring six runs on
their way to an 11-4 victory in the debut of the revamped lineup
the Yankees are counting on to pull them out of an early season
"All the anticipation went out the window because nobody looked
at that. Unless you pitch, nothing really matters," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said. "Everything sort of takes a backseat to
how you control the game. A game like tonight, we couldn't
Nick Green had a two-run single, and Travis Phelps and Aubrey
Huff also drove in two runs apiece against Brown (0-4), who allowed
eight runs and matched a career high by yielding 13 hits in five
Brown was 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA against Tampa Bay last season, but
hasn't pitched well against anyone lately. He has lost seven
straight starts dating to last season, the longest skid of his
career. His ERA stands at 8.25 after giving up 22 runs and 41 hits
in 24 innings this year.
New York's problems extend beyond Brown, though.
Torre said the team is going through the toughest stretch since
he took over as manager in 1996.
"But you don't sit around complaining about it ... because
certainly with all the success we've had we're not going to have
anybody writing us any get-well cards," Torre said. "Time is
spent trying to get it right and trying to get going in the right
Owner George Steinbrenner, who had been expected at the game,
was not seen at the ballpark.
The last-place Devil Rays snapped an eight-game losing streak
that matched the second-longest in the majors this season. They
were outscored 58-25 during the slide, including a sloppy 6-2 loss
to the Yankees that left manager Lou Piniella fuming about the
team's poor play Monday night.
"It feels good to win a ballgame. It's been awhile," Piniella
The manager chided his players after the series opener but
discounted the impact the tongue-lashing had on the team's improved
"I don't know about my talk," Piniella said. "These kids went
out and played (better). That's what's important."
Eight of the first nine batters had hits off Brown, and the
early deficit was too much for New York's sputtering offense to
overcome against Doug Waechter (1-1).
Tino Martinez and Jorge Posada hit solo homers off the Devil
Rays starter. Derek Jeter drove in New York's other two runs with a
two-out triple off Waechter, who allowed four runs and six hits in
Torre unveiled a new lineup with Hideki Matsui in center field,
Tony Womack in left and minor league prospect Robinson Cano making
his major league debut at second base -- a series of moves that
bumped Bernie Williams, the regular center fielder since 1993, into
a designated hitter's role. Cano went 0-for-3.
Brown declined to speak with reporters in a mostly empty
"Right now we have not been able to really put anything good
together," Torre said. "I don't think there's any one person
responsible player-wise. The manager is always responsible."
The Devil Rays matched a team record for first-inning runs with
six. Toby Hall's two-run single off Felix Rodriguez made it 10-4 in
the seventh. Phelps finished with three RBI, driving in the final
run with an eighth-inning double off Rodriguez.
"It feels good to win. It's a heck of a lot more fun, that's
for sure, especially beating a ballclub of the caliber they are,"
"They may not be playing up to their potential right now, but --
you know what -- at any moment, they can put a five spot on you in
any one inning and really make you hurt."
After the game, the Yankees recalled LHP Sean Henn from
Double-A Trenton to start Wednesday night against Tampa Bay,
replacing Randy Johnson, who was scratched because of stiffness in
his left groin. OF Bubba Crosby was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
... The only other time the Devil Rays scored six in the first
inning was at Yankee Stadium on May 15, 2002. ... Martinez returned
to New York's lineup after sitting out the series opener because of
flu-like symptoms. ... Torre remained two victories shy of joining
Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel, Miller Huggins and Ralph Houk as the
only managers to win 900 games with the Yankees.