Yankees-Rays: Alex Rodriguez and Mike Mussina Make History

A.J. MartelliSenior Analyst ISeptember 2, 2008

The New York Yankees defeated their division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, on Tuesday night by a score of 7-2.

Mike Mussina started for the Yanks and gave them a quality start. He pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs on 10 hits, with one walk, and he struck out eight.

Matt Garza took the hill for the Rays. He lasted five innings, giving up six runs, six of them earned, on five hits. Garza walked one and struck out two.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third. Cliff Floyd singled to score B.J. Upton, and the Rays jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

The Bronx Bombers would answer back in the top of the fourth. Jason Giambi hit a sacrifice fly to score Derek Jeter and tie the game at one.

Later in the frame, Xavier Nady smashed a long, two-run home run high off the catwalk of Tropicana Field and into the left-field stands, his 22nd homer of the season, and the Yankees went up 4-1.

The Yankees added two runs in the top of the fifth. Johnny Damon tripled to score
Robinson Cano, and Jeter grounded into a force out to score Damon, and the Yankees took a 6-1 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Hideki Matsui singled to score Alex Rodriguez, and the Yankees went ahead 7-1.

The Rays managed to get a run back in the bottom of the seventh. Shawn Riggans singled to score Gabe Gross, and the Rays then trailed 6-2.

Finally, in the top of the eighth, Rodriguez put a bow on this game, smacking a solo homer, his 30th of the year and 548th of his career, giving the Yankees a 7-2 lead they would not relinquish.

Mussina gets the win, and his record is now 17-7.

Garza lost and is now 11-8.

Tonight marked the return of Joba Chamberlain from the disabled list. Chamberlain recorded his 13th hold of the year, and pitched 1.1 innings, giving up no runs on one hit, walked one, and did not record a strikeout. He will finish the campaign as a reliever, pitching out of the bullpen.

With the win, Mussina passes Bob Feller and Eppa Rixey for 34th place on baseball's all-time wins list. Tonight was Mussina's 267th career win.

Rodriguez also made history tonight, as he tied Mike Schmidt for 12th place on the all-time home runs list. 

Tomorrow night, at 7:10 PM EDT, the Yankees and Rays will play game two of their three-game set.

Carl Pavano (2-0, 3.27 ERA) will take the mound for the Yankees and will be opposed by Edwin Jackson (11-8, 3.81 ERA) of the Rays.