tampabay.com

Yankees' Wang, umpire dispatch Rays

Held to just two hits, Tampa Bay has now lost 10 straight on the road. Crucial call at second yields two unearned runs.

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published July 29, 2006


NEW YORK - There was nothing the Devil Rays could do Friday night against the Yankees.

That is not really an overstatement when you consider all the elements of the 6-0 loss in front of a sellout crowd of 53,979 at Yankee Stadium.

Check that, the relief pitching did an admirable job, with Chad Harville and Ruddy Lugo holding New York to one run with three strikeouts in 42/3 innings.

Before that, though, Tampa Bay was stumped.

The Rays managed just two hits off starter Chien-Ming Wang, who only struck out one in the complete game but needed just 104 pitches.

Tampa Bay starter Tim Corcoran, who said he believed while he was warming up he had good stuff, lasted just 31/3 innings, gave up five runs (three earned) on seven hits and six walks, three of which came consecutively in the fourth inning and scored a run.

"What can you say, I feel like an idiot," Corcoran said of walking in a run. "You're supposed to throw strikes. It's aggravating."

And disappointing, as the Rays road losing streak reached 10, their longest since a franchise-record 13-game streak in 2002. It is the second longest streak in the majors this season behind the Royals' 12.

The loss also dropped the Rays, at 42-61, to a season-worst 19 games under .500.

Give some credit to the Yankees who reached a season-best 20 games over .500, and Wang, who Rays third baseman Ty Wigginton said had "no-hitter stuff."

The Rays did not get a hit until Wigginton's leadoff single in the fifth. Julio Lugo singled in the sixth and that was it as Wang improved to 12-4 and won his fourth consecutive game and second this month against Tampa Bay.

"He was really pounding the one with that sinker," Wigginton said. "It was making right turns."

"I almost saw Mr. Halliday out there," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, comparing Wang to Blue Jays ace Roy Halliday. "He has that heavy sinker and he pounded the zone and it was hard to dig it out."

The Rays also ran into some bad luck in the second inning as second base umpire Alfonso Marquez called New York's Andy Phillips safe when, the umpire determined, Lugo dropped Corcoran's throw on Melky Cabrera's attempted sacrifice bunt.

Replays seemed to show Lugo picked up the ball and stepped on the bag before Phillips arrived. It was a crucial call as the Yankees later scored two unearned runs and took a 3-0 lead on Derek Jeter's two-out single.

"I didn't give him a good throw," Corcoran said. "A good throw, and that play is made. I just gator-armed it."

The Yankees scored two more in the fourth inning with a rally that began with Jeter's double. Three walks later by Corcoran and New York had a run.

Harville relieved and after getting Bernie Williams to fly out right, he walked Phillips to force in another run that was charged to Corcoran.

Williams took Harville deep again, this time in the sixth inning, for his eighth home run and a 6-0 lead.

New York manager Joe Torre sympathized with the Rays, calling Wang's game a "jewel."

"This was a game tonight I really don't care who we were playing," he said. "The way that kid was pitching, it would have been tough to beat him."

Said Maddon: "He's been tough on the entire league."