ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) --
may not be the long-term solution to the
New York Yankees
' bullpen woes, but he did provide some short-term relief.
Making his first appearance since joining his ninth team, the 32-year-old Miceli got two key outs in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Yankees held on for a 4-3 victory over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
"I'm kind of struggling right now," said an exhausted Miceli, whose flight to Tampa Bay did not arrive until after 3 a.m. Thursday.
's 10th win, despite allowing a run and two hits in the ninth. But with the tying run on third, he struck out pinch hitter
looking on a 2-2 pitch for his 12th save and third in as many days.
"He's tough to face," said Grieve, who thought the pitch was high. "I think the umpire (Wally Bell) missed one, though. He (Rivera) doesn't give you too many pitches to hit."
, who watched his team walk 20 in the previous two games, screamed at Grieve as he walked back to the dugout
"I got mad at the answer I got (from Grieve)," Piniella said. "He thought the pitch was high but said, 'It doesn't matter.' Well, it matters to me and it matters to a lot of guys in this clubhouse. If you think it is high, I expect you to tell the umpire instead of walking back to the dugout."
hit two-run home runs for the Yankees (47-30), who have matched a season high by moving 17 games over .500.
They have won 11 of 13 since six Houston pitchers combined to no-hit them on June 8 and took the final three games of the four-game series after losing Monday's opener.
"To me, it's important to play well," New York manager
said. "We are in a pennant race with two ballclubs (Boston and Toronto) right behind you and playing well. The fact of who you're playing is important, but how you're playing is more important."
Mussina (10-4) reached double figures in wins for the 12th straight year, allowing two runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
"We've been playing better baseball, more like Yankee baseball," Mussina said. "It was nice to win these last three games of the series."
(0-3) took the loss, surrendering four runs and five hits in seven innings.
walked on four pitches in the top of the first, Giambi staked the Yankees to a 2-0 lead with his 20th homer.
"The difference in the game is a four-pitch walk in the first inning," Standridge said. "We'd still be playing right now (without the walk to Zeile)."
In the seventh,
, also playing in his first game since being re-acquired by the Yankees, singled with one out and scored on Mondesi's 14th homer.
Mussina appeared to be in control, but could not get out of the eighth, giving up a double to
and a single to
, putting runners on the corners.
Torre summoned Miceli, who went to a full count on rookie
, with Lugo stealing second during the at-bat.
The Yankees hope Miceli will be a bridge to Rivera, but it took him a few pitches to get used to catcher
"I think it's hard for a catcher to get a feel for the breaking pitches," Miceli said.
But on the 3-2 offering, Baldelli lined to Mondesi in shallow right field before Miceli got
on a comebacker.
Rivera, who was appearing in a third straight game for the first time this season, made things interesting in the ninth as
led off with a single and Anderson chopped a double inside the first-base line.
Rivera struck out Rolls, who had seven hits in the series, before pinch hitter
produced a run with a groundout to first base.
Rivera threw two quick strikes to Grieve before just missing with two pitches that Bell called outside.
Bell, who went behind the plate in the third inning when Kerwin Danley re-injured his right shoulder, called out Grieve on the next pitch of the at-bat.