all know the secret to success at the new Yankee Stadium: Hit the ball in the air to right field.
Four more home runs by the Yankees at baseball's $1.5 billion bandbox - all to right field - backed
in a 5-3 victory over the
Tampa Bay Rays
on Monday night , the start of what figures to be a challenging week for New York.
''I just think we didn't hit enough balls to right-center. There's a conveyor-belt effect out there,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon
said. ''It's kind of like a jet stream.''
Teixeira's solo homer in the first and Swisher's two-run drive in the second built a 3-0 lead, but the Rays tied the score
in the fourth after
's leadoff grounder to third for an error.
had an RBI single and
followed with a two-run homer to left, Kapler's first home run since Sept. 7 for Milwaukee off San Diego's
Solo homers by Damon in the sixth and Jeter in the eighth finished
(4-6), who gave up four homers for the first time in his big league career and dropped to 1-6 on the road.
There have been 105 homers in 29 games at the new ballpark, a sharp increase from the 160 last season at the original Yankee
Stadium, and 63 have been hit to right and right-center. New York won despite finishing with just six hits - and no plate
appearances with runners in scoring position for the first time since May 14, 2006.
''This team hasn't been textbook all year,'' Damon said. ''As long as we get the hits and they fly out of the ballpark, it's
a good thing.''
It was the 10th game of five or more homers at Yankee Stadium.
''I made a few mistakes up in the zone and they really made me pay for them,'' said Sonnanstine, who gave up five runs and
six hits in seven-plus innings.
New York improved the AL's best record to 34-23, opened a one-game AL East lead over second-place Boston and improved to 21-0
when allowing three runs or fewer. The Yankees headed to Boston after the game for a three-game series against the
, who are 5-0 against New York this year. The Yankees return home for a weekend Subway Series against the Mets.
''Obviously we would like to get payback and say all that good stuff, but we have to go out and play well,'' Damon said.
Damon wasn't sure his homer would make it. Nine of Damon's 12 home runs this season and six of Jeter's eight have come at
''I just have to remember that I am strong and my will could will the ball out,'' Damon said humorously.
Pettitte (6-2) allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits in six innings, striking out a season-high seven. After walking
11 in his previous two starts, he cut his bases on balls to three.
, bumped to the bullpen so Chien-Ming Wang could rejoin the rotation, followed with a 1-2-3 seventh in his first major league
regular-season relief outing after 28 starts.
''Whatever it is, I'm ready to go,'' Hughes said.
followed with a hitless eighth and
finished with a perfect ninth for save No. 496, his 14th save in 15 chances this year. Yankees manager
said Rivera, who had a pair of 1-2-3 outings after Saturday's loss to the Rays, might not be available Tuesday after pitching
three days in a row, but the closer said he'd pitch if needed.
''Oh, definitely, we need to win a game there,'' he said.
All-Star third baseman
returned to the Rays' starting lineup after missing nearly a week with an injured left hamstring and went 0-for-3 with three
strikeouts and a walk. Since injuring the leg while running out a grounder last Tuesday, Longoria had been limited to a pair
of pinch-hitting appearances against the Yankees.
''He came in. He was adamant. He felt ready to go today, so we threw him out there,'' Maddon said.
Notes: The Yankees have made at least one error in six straight games since the end of their record 18-game errorless streak.
... Tampa Bay 2B
was scratched about 40 minutes before the first pitch because of a migraine.
moved from shortstop to second, and
took over at shortstop. ...
is hitless in 16 at-bats, matching the worst stretch of his big league career.