Uh-oh: Bad A.J.'s back in town

May, 16, 2011
5/16/11
9:08
PM ET
A.J. Burnett was cruising along through five innings, having held the Tampa Bay Rays having allowed just three hits and one run (a solo homer by Johnny Damon) and enjoying a 5-1 lead thanks to Curtis Granderson's three-run bomb in the fifth.

Then came the sixth, and cruise turned to crach. First. Sam Fuld hit a two-run homer with none out to cut the lead to 5-3. But Burnett came back to get two quick outs, including a strikeout of Damon. But he couldn;t hold off Bad A.J. for long. Evan Longoria singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Then Matt Joyce singled Longoria home to make it a 5-4 game. Next, Burnett was about two feet wide of Russell Martin's glove with a fastball, sending Joyce to second. Finally, B.J. Upton crushed one into the left-field seats and the implosion was complete. Rays went up 6-5, and both A.J.s, the Good and the Bad, headed for the showers. Rays still up 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Boone Logan now pitching.

To add insult, this is the first time all season the Rays have scored more than five runs at home, a stretch of 22 games exceeded only by the 26-game five-runs-or-less treak posted by the Brooklyn Superbas (later Dodgers) in 1908.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Brett Gardner
BA HR RBI R
.283 14 47 68
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 18
RBIM. Teixeira 50
RB. Gardner 68
OPSB. Gardner .816
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135