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D-Rays have lost 7 of 10 to Yanks

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bases loaded, one-run game, 2-0 count.

Paul Quantrill didn't have much room for error when the New York
Yankees brought him into the game in the sixth inning Friday night.

Quantrill escaped by retiring Toby Hall on a flyout, and Mariano
Rivera worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth, holding off
the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-4.

"I'm not too sure of how many people I'd want to do that to,"
Yankees manager Joe Torre said after putting the pressure on
Quantrill.

Jorge Posada hit a go-ahead, two-run single for the Yankees, who
have won two straight against the Devil Rays after losing five of
six to the New York Mets and Detroit.

Tampa Bay, which has lost seven of 10 to the Yankees this year,
dropped to 4-6 in July after going 20-6 in June.

"We're getting our chances to put some runs on the board. Now
we can't get them," said Rocco Baldelli, who popped to first
baseman Tony Clark in foul territory for the final out.

A day after he was selected for his first All-Star game, Javier
Vazquez (10-5) fell behind 3-1 on Jose Cruz Jr.'s two-run homer in
the first and Robert Fick's solo shot in the fourth. But Posada
singled to cap a three-run fifth that put New York ahead 4-3.

Vazquez opened the sixth by fanning Baldelli, giving him a
season-high nine strikeouts, but left after walking the bases
loaded with two outs.

Quantrill relieved with a 2-0 count on Hall, who then took a
strike and fouled off two pitches. After taking ball three to work
the count full, Hall fouled off three more pitches before flying to
center.

"I'm not going to give them that tying run," Quantrill said.
"I wanted to make a lot of good pitches. I didn't want to try to
make a great pitch and nibble too much."

In Tampa Bay's 7-1 loss Thursday, Hall batted with the bases
loaded and the Devil Rays down a run in the fourth and also hit an
inning-ending flyout.

"The last couple of nights, we've left the bases loaded four or
five times," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.

Vazquez allowed four hits in 5 2/3 innings, winning for the
seventh time in eight decisions, and matched his season high with
five walks.

Rivera allowed an infield hit to Carl
Crawford, then walked the switch-hitting Cruz, who batted
right-handed. He went to 3-2 on Baldelli before closing it out.

"It's a helpless feeling," Torre said. "You know he's the
best there is. You just put it in the back of your mind that
everything is going to be all right."

Piniella was ejected in the eighth by plate umpire Dan Iassogna
after arguing from the dugout following a called strike to Fick.

"I had talked to him before about the high strike zone that he
was calling," Piniella said. "That was the second time. I didn't
cuss. I said the pitch was high."

John Halama, who allowed seven hits, left after Lofton's leadoff
infield single in the fifth and Bernie Williams' walk. Piniella
treated it like the eighth inning, going to his bullpen and
bringing in Jesus Colome (2-2), who was throwing 98 mph.

Derek Jeter, who singled in a run in the third, sacrificed the
runners over with a bunt down the first-base line and Gary
Sheffield walked, loading the bases.

Alex Rodriguez popped to short right field, dropping him to
0-for-8 with the bases loaded this season. Lance Carter came in to
face Jason Giambi and forced in a run with a walk on a 3-2 pitch
before giving up the single to Posada on a high changeup.

Posada threw out Crawford, who leads the majors with 38 steals,
in the top of the inning. Torre called that key, but Posada gave
the credit for the win to Quantrill.

"That was the biggest pitch of the game," the catcher said.

Game notes
New York RHP Kevin
Brown, on the disabled list since June 10 because of a back spasm
and an intestinal parasite, felt normal soreness Friday, a day
after a bullpen session.