Derek Jeter; Photo: Don Murray

The Yankees desperately needed someone to step up and pitch a good game, and Jose Contreras was able to do that yesterday afternoon. Contreras pitched seven strong innings and then gave way to a familiar tandem to close the game down. Tom Gordon pitched a scoreless 8th inning for his 24th hold of the year and Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless 9th, striking out two, to nail down his 34th save of the season and a 4-2 Yankee Victory.

Victor Zambrano took the hill for Tampa Bay and he has beaten the Yankees three times this year. The fourth win would not e in the cards for Victor on this day. Zambrano struck out seven in five and two-thirds innings and gave up three earned runs. Zambrano ran his record to 9-6 on the year.

Gary Sheffield, who's shoulder is getting worse, hit his 18th home run of the year and drove in three runs. The Yankees only managed six hits off the Devil Rays, but also reached base on six walks and a hit-by-pitch. Derek Jeter was the recipient of the bean-ball and is currently nursing a sore right wrist. He was removed from the game in the 8th inning.

The Yankees return to the stadium today for their shortest home-stand of the year, with two games against Toronto. Pat Hentgen (2-8, 6.26) will face Javier Vasquez (10-6, 4.02) tonight at 7:05pm. In a Thursday matinee (1:05) the Yanks will send Orlando Hernandez (2-0, 4.50) against former Yankee Ted Lilly (7-7, 4.28).

*Injury Note: Derek Jeter will not be in the lineup tonight against the Blue Jays.