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Updated: Sunday, September 14, 2003 11:27 PM EDT
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
5 9 0
New York Yankees
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
2 6 2
W Harper (4-7)
L Heredia (0-1)
S Carter (24)
Recap | Box Score | Lineup | ScoreCast | Game Log | How They Scored | Today's Scoreboard

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Yankees are frustrated - and they feel good about it.

Third baseman Enrique Wilson committed a costly throwing error in the eighth inning, allowing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to defeat the Yankees, 5-2, snapping their season-high eight-game winning streak.

With two out and the bases empty in the eighth, Wilson fielded a hard grounder by rookie pinch hitter Jonny Gomes and fired high and up the line to first baseman Jason Giambi , who could not hold on to the ball.

"Gomes got down the line pretty good and Jason was trying to make the catch and tag at the same time and I don't think he ever caught it," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Damian Rolls walked and Marlon Anderson bounced a single up the middle off Felix Heredia (0-1) to score Gomes.

Toby Hall added a two-run double for the last-place Devil Rays , who snapped a five-game skid by salvaging the finale of the four-game series. They also improved to 5-11 against the first-place Yankees this season.

"It's nice to get a win," center fielder Rocco Baldelli said. "Yesterday was a tough, day-night doubleheader. When you lose both games, you're down a little bit. To come back the next day, a day game, getaway day, and win at Yankee Stadium is great."

It was a big day for Baldelli and the rest of the Devil Rays ' rookies, who were dressed in drag as they left the Bronx for a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

"We were facing the sweep today, so we wanted to go and get a win," said designated hitter Aubrey Huff , who matched Randy Winn 's team record with his 181st hit. "We have rookie dress-up day and we wanted to enjoy it."

The Yankees have been enjoying the last week or so. They stretched a 1 1/2-game lead to 5 1/2 over second-place Boston in the American League Eastern Division and are feeling good about themselves.

"I feel good about the fact that we were getting frustrated today - it doesn't make things any better," Torre said. "I think we feel good about stuff right now."

Heredia recorded the first two outs in the eighth but allowed three unearned runs and took the loss.

Travis Harper (4-7) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of rookie Doug Waechter for the win and Lance Carter recorded his 24th save with two scoreless frames.

Yankees rookie Jose Contreras allowed two runs and five hits while walking two and striking out a career-high eight in seven innings.

"I think this was one of my best starts all season," said Contreras, whose team fell one-half game behind Atlanta for the best record in baseball. "I felt good."

Contreras and Waechter were locked in a scoreless duel until the fifth, when Baldelli hit his 10th homer with two out. Baldelli also singled twice and had a pair of stolen bases.

"It was just one of those good days when everything seems to work out for you," he said. "It's nice to get double digits in homers."

The Yankees grabbed the lead in the bottom of the inning, when Derek Jeter belted a two-run homer off Waechter. The righthander left after the frame, having allowed two runs and four hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

"We have to give Waecther credit," Torre said. "It's easy to say that we let him off the hook. Waechter certainly pitched well. We just couldn't put anything together."

Anderson started the seventh inning with a double and scored the tying run on Julio Lugo 's one-out base hit. That was the last inning for Contreras, who showed no ill effects of the sprained ankle he suffered in his previous outing.

Heredia started the eighth and recorded two quick outs before Wilson threw wildly to first. After a walk and the go-ahead hit by Anderson, Hall greeted Antonio Osuna with a two-run double into the right field corner.

The Yankees couldn't manage anything against Tampa Bay's two relievers, who faced just one over the minimum in four innings. But they're prepared to start a new streak Monday in Baltimore.

"We can't go undefeated," Jeter said. "We've won eight of the last nine. Of course, we would've liked to win today, to play better than we did today. We've got to forget about this and move on."

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