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Yankees beat Devil Rays


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at St. Petersburg, Fla.

Saturday, March 25


Yankees at the plate: Alex Rodriguez hit his second home run of the spring, a solo shot off Rays starter Edwin Jackson in the third inning. Gary Sheffield, who entered Saturday's game with a .138 batting average and no home runs, just missed his first round tripper when he doubled off the left-field wall to drive home two runs. Derek Jeter had a triple and a sacrifice fly with two RBIs.


Rays at the plate: Travis Lee hit his third home run of the spring, a solo shot off Colter Bean. Joey Gathright, who has worked hard on his bunting all spring, got a bunt single in the third inning. Damon Hollins stole his team-leading eighth base in the fourth when he stole third.


Yankees on the mound: Matt Childers started for the Yankees and pitched three scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed just four hits while walking one and striking out two. Childers is the brother of Rays right-hander Jason Childers; Saturday's game was the first time the brothers have faced off against each other in the same game.


Rays on the mound: Jackson made his fifth spring appearance and struggled from the beginning against what was close to the Yankees' everyday lineup. The 22-year old right-hander walked Yankees leadoff hitter Johnny Damon to start the game and Jeter followed with a triple. Jackson gave up eight hits, walked five and struck out four before leaving the game with two outs in the fourth and the Yankees leading 6-0; four of the runs were earned. Jason Childers continued his spring brilliance by pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. In seven appearances Childers has not been scored upon in 9 1/3 innings of work. Jesus Colome pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings, retiring all six batters. The right-hander struck out Damon, Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui.


Grapefruit League records: Yankees 12-13; Rays 10-12.



The Yankees will host the Tigers on Sunday in a 1:15 p.m. contest at Legends Field in Tampa. Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will start for the Yankees; left-hander Nate Robinson will start for the Tigers.

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