It had been weeks since the Yankees had heard more than a peep out of Vernon Wells' bat. On Saturday it was loud as thunder. Wells, out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a massive 9-for-89 slump since May 24, came off the bench to pinch hit with the bases loaded in the seventh inning against the Rays. He delivered a three-run double that reverse the Yankees' fortunes and sent them to a 7-5 victory before 46,013 at the Stadium. Wells hammered Jake McGee's pitch to right center where it bounced one and was then touched by a fan. Umpires did not call it a ground rule double, but said the fan reached into play and called Spectator Interference. Wells had run to third base and was sent back to second base. But all three runs scored because it was not a ground rule double. First base umpire Alan Porter called the play dead when the fan interfered; Wells was already at second and Zoilo Almonte, who had been on first, already had rounded third base. The rules give discretion to the umpires to place the runners. Wells had become the poster boy for the team's offensive malaise. On Thursday manager joe Girardi pinch hit for him at the end of the 8-3 loss and he was held out of the lineup on Friday. The three-run double, which came after McGee issued a bases-loaded walk to David Adams to bring the Bombers within 5-4, erased the damage from Wil Myers' grand slam off CC Sabathia (8-5) in the sixth inning and made the Yankees ace a winner for the fourth time in his last five starts. Sabathia had been making quick work of the Rays until the sixth. His only speed bump had been a solo homer by Evan Longoria in the second inning. The Yankees had pulled ahead 3-1 with two runs on a Zoilo Almonte single in the third inning and a bases-loaded walk by Almonte in the fifth. When Longoria came to bat with first base open and two runners in scoring position, Sabathia issued an intentional pass that loaded the bases and brought up the heralded rookie.
Wells delivers to lead the Yankees past the Rays, 7-5
New York Daily News | Jun 22