It was an ugly beginning to the Yankees' season, but at least Brian Cashman's $1.1 million wager got off to a promising start yesterday.

A day after the general manager said he made a "bet" when he signed Raul Ibanez to be the team's new left-handed designated hitter following a subpar 2011 with the Phillies, the 39-year-old gave the Yankees the lead with a three-run home run off Rays starter James Shields in the third inning of a game Tampa Bay won in the bottom of the ninth, 7-6.

After knocking in the Yankees' second run with a groundout in the second inning, Ibanez lined a 3-1 Shields fastball into the seats in right to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead they weren't able to hold.