ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Derek Jeter ended an 0-for-28 slump that was the second-worst of his career, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Wednesday night.

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Post info: By TBRays01 on September 17th, 2014
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    New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the Tampa Bay Rays should stop pitching inside if they’re going to keep hitting his players. Rays manager Joe Maddon says thanks for the advice, but no thanks. Oh, and we’re not really sorry, either. Girardi got his Italian Irish up Tuesday night after Yankees captain Derek Jeter was hit on the left hand by Steve Geltz on an 0-2 pitch in the eighth inning. Umpire Rob Drake warned both teams, which brought out Maddon and Girardi — who didn’t like being warned when his team hadn’t done anything. Girardi even yelled the Rays’ way — getting animated at Geltz or Maddon or both — because Geltz’s pitch went up and in. Not long after, Girardi was ejected for continuing to argue from the dugout. Girardi noted later to the media that Rays pitchers hit the Yankees five times over the past four games, including Jeter twice and Chase Headley in the mouth. Via NJ.com , Maddon said: “It’s nothing to apologize for. It’s just part of the game. I do understand their frustration with it and why they were upset. It ended up being what it was. Hopefully tomorrow there is nothing going on and, again, truthfully, like I said, there was no intent from us.” Later he added, “I understand the frustration. I get it totally.” Maddon’s cool attitude probably won’t help ease the tensions, even though Girardi’s beef wasn’t necessarily that the Rays pitchers were trying to hit anyone on purpose. “If you’re going to pitch inside, pitch their right way,” Girardi said. “And if you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside. We’re not pincushions.” In the bottom of the eighth, Yankees right-hander David Phelps threw inside at Kevin Kiermaier, but missed. The benches cleared, slowly, and Phelps and interim manager Tony Peña were ejected. The Yankees couldn’t quite exact their own pound of flesh. Before we go any further:   So, who’s right? Girardi sounds a man at the end of a long, frustrating season. He’s done an excellent job managing a team with many problems. And, as Maddon said, it’s easy to see why he’s frustrated when his players get hit. The best he can hope to do is tell his pitchers to pitch inside without trying to hit anyone on purpose also, and see what it gets him. In the long run, it might make the opposition hesitate to throw inside, if their own hitters fear Yankees retaliation. More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:    – - – - – - – David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave  

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As Derek Jeter’s final season winds down, only three of stops remain on his farewell tour. Wednesday night will mark Jeter’s final game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, and on Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rays joined the rest of baseball in honoring Jeter with a series parting gifts. In perhaps the most touching presentation during Jeter’s final campaign, Don Zimmer’s widow Soot Zimmer was joined on the field by Rays veterans Evan Longoria and Jose Molina. Together, they presented Jeter with a framed No. 66 Zimmer jersey, which we’re guessing will immediately shoot to the top of Jeter’s favorite gifts list. Soot Zimmer is here. Jeter is being presented with a framed Don Zimmer No. 66 jersey. — Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 16, 2014 #Rays presentation of a Don Zimmer jersey to Jeter – by Longoria, Molina and Soot Zimmer pic.twitter.com/Y20R0B9WBI — Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) September 16, 2014 Zimmer served as Yankees bench coach early in Jeter’s career and would become a friend, confidant and mentor to Jeter as he blossomed into a future Hall of Famer. Zimmer, who died  June 4, obviously holds a special place in Jeter’s heart, and though he was most recently associated with the Rays, he’s most often remembered for those years in New York.  The Rays did well to acknowledge that relationship and honor both legends in a heartfelt way.  In addition to that special gift, Jeter was also presented with a pinstriped kayak with his soon-to-be-retired No. 2 on it.

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Post info: By TBRays01 on September 16th, 2014
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(Adds late games) Sept 15 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Monday’s Major League baseball games – - – - Nationals 4, Braves 2 Right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw seven scoreless innings to help Washington to a win over the Atlanta Braves and reduce the Nationals’ magic number for winning the National League East to two. The Nationals (86-63) could clinch their second division title in three years by beating Atlanta on Tuesday. Atlanta (75-75) have lost four successive games. Atlanta starter Ervin Santana (14-9) threw six solid innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, with six strikeouts.

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Derek Jeter, in an 0-for-24 slump, was out of the New York Yankees’ starting lineup at Tampa Bay on Monday night. New York manager Joe Girardi said last weekend he was planning to give the Yankees captain a break during a three-game series with the Rays. Jeter’s season average is down to .250. ”I really haven’t thought about it,” Jeter said of his offensive slide.

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Yunel Escobar didn’t much like being booed when he first came back to Toronto as a visiting player last season. Escobar riled up the crowd with an exaggerated display after a towering home run, Sean Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Blue Jays 6-5 Sunday. A frequent target of boos in Toronto after being suspended by the Blue Jays for writing an anti-gay slur on his eye-black in 2012, Escobar homered off the facing of the fourth deck against Todd Redmond in the eighth. Ben Zobrist homered as Tampa Bay took two of three from the Blue Jays, dealing them a blow in their chase for an AL wild-card berth.

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Matthew Pouliot suggests adds and drops for the next-to-last week of the season.

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Post info: By TBRays01 on September 14th, 2014
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How do Major League Baseball teams keep an even keel following crushing losses? It’s never easy, but despite what has been a disappointing season, the Tampa Bay Rays always seem to find a way to navigate those tricky waters. Having a level-headed manager like Joe Maddon at the helm certainly helps. As it turns out, so does having a September roster filled with rookies. Those rookies, as is baseball tradition, are at the mercy of the team’s veterans during their time in the big league clubhouse. And more often than not, their off-field assignments are designed solely for the amusement of the established players. Or, as the timing would have it on Thursday night, a pick-me-up after Alex Cobb’s near no-hitter t urned into a painful walk-off loss in the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium . Before the team even left the ballpark to begin their travels to Toronto, the current rookies plus reigning Rookie of the Year Wil Myers and pitcher Chris Archer had to fulfill their obligations for dress-up night. And the theme was a beauty, as each was forced to dress as a character from the Mario Kart video game. Tough loss, but #Rays rookie dress-up night is a tradition that can’t be broken: pic.twitter.com/mZrChjnNDr — Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 12, 2014 #rays Kiermaier strikes a pose on rookie dress up night. pic.twitter.com/SjfyxzwiJq — RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) September 12, 2014 Some wear the costumes better than others, but it’s tough to stay down with that crew waddling around the clubhouse. Or the airport for that matter. Yes, each and every one of them was likely forced to go through customs wearing those costumes. As we saw one week ago, the Chicago Cubs also had rookie Eric Jokisch dressed up as Luigi before traveling to, you guessed it, Toronto. So it seems teams take extra joy in their rookies explaining their attire before traveling north of the border. Let that be a warning to future rookies whose teams have Toronto on their September schedule.  BLS H/N: Cut 4 More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Adam Lind ended the longest home-run drought of his career at a good time for the Toronto Blue Jays. Lind hit a tiebreaking, two-run shot in the seventh inning, Edwin Encarnacion also went deep and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on Saturday. Lind connected off Brad Boxberger (5-2) for his first homer since June 23 against the New York Yankees. Manager John Gibbons said Lind has ”one of the nicest, pure swings you’re going to find.” ”Against right-handers, there’s not a better hitter out there,” Gibbons said.

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