Entering Saturday’s game, Reid Brignac had totaled two home runs in 66 games this season. Brignac equaled his total on Saturday and drove in half of Tampa Bay’s runs in a 10-5 triumph over New York at Yankee Stadium.
Tampa Bay improved their major league best road record to 29-15. New York lost for only the third time this month.
With Tampa Bay leading 1-0 in the top of the second, A.J. Burnett retired the first two batters before hitting Jason Bartlett. Brignac followed with his first home run of the afternoon over the right field wall. He entered the at bat 0-for-7 in his career against Burnett.
In the top of the fifth with the Rays on top 5-2, Brignac struck again with a three-run home run off Yankees reliever Dustin Moseley. Brignac, who entered the game homerless since April 27, posted his first career multi-homer game.
Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the top of the first when Evan Longoria singled with two outs and scored on Carlos Pena’s RBI double.
New York cut into Tampa Bay’s 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Brett Gardner delivered a two-run single. The Yankees entered the game batting .413 this season with the bases loaded. Pena got one run back in the top of the third on an RBI single to give the Rays a 4-2 lead.
New York added solo home runs by Mark Teixeira in the fifth and Jorge Posada in the sixth. In the ninth inning, Alex Rodriguez completed the Yankees scoring with an RBI ground rule double.
Pena added a solo home run for the Rays in the top of the eighth. He entered the game only hitting .201, but finished the afternoon with his first four-hit game since May 8, 2007.
Jeff Niemann (8-2) improved to 5-0 on the road this season. He allowed four runs on six hits over 6.1 innings while striking out six and walking four. Tampa Bay is 9-0 on the road in games started by Niemann.
Burnett (7-8) only pitched two innings and removed in the top of the third due to lacerations on his hand. He allowed four runs on four hits with one strikeout. Burnett had only allowed two runs in 13.2 innings over his last two starts.
A pair of left-handed all-star pitchers will take the mound in Sunday’s finale. David Price (12-4, 2.42), who started Tuesday’s All-Star Game for the American League, will start for Tampa Bay. New York will counter with Andy Pettitte (11-2, 2.70). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.
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