Yanks beat Rays, 2-1

March 21, 2008 8:14:32 PM PDT
Morgan Ensberg was hitless in four at-bats in the New York Yankees' 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, and then was added to the 40-man roster, a key step in making the Yankees' opening day roster.Ensberg came to spring training on a minor league contract, and had an opt-out clause for 12 a.m. Saturday.

"It's just incredible," Ensberg said. "You always wonder whether or not you've shown them enough, and if it's the case, whether or not there's room. It's great, great news."

The Yankees' decision doesn't guarantee Ensberg's a roster spot, but since he is out of the options, it makes him a frontrunner.

"There's still a lot of competition. There's a lot of decisions to be made," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Ensberg would likely see time at first, third and DH if he makes the final roster, and provide a right-handed bat off the bench.

Ensberg is wearing No. 21, the number worn by Paul O'Neill. He plans to try and make a deal with Wilson Betemit, who has No. 14.

"I think the fans are entitled to keep that number," Ensberg said. "I don't want to botch it up."

Bernie Castro had an RBI single in a two-run eighth that put the Yankees' up 2-0

Tampa Bay got a run-scoring double in the ninth from Evan Longoria.

Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine allowed three hits in five scoreless innings. The right-hander, bidding for a back of the rotation spot, struck out two and walked two during a 68-pitch outing.

"I felt like I showcased what I had pretty well," Sonnanstine said. "I was ahead of hitters and pretty much stuck to the game plan, so I'm very happy with the way I performed."

Rays manager Joe Maddon was impressed.

"No question. Yes, he made a very good case for himself," Maddon said.

Yankees right-hander Darrell Rasner gave up two hits over four scoreless innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Both opening day starters, New York's Chien-Ming Wang and Rays' right-hander James Shields, pitched in minor league games Friday. The Yankees and Tampa Bay will meet during the opening week of the regular season.

New York closer Mariano Rivera allowed an infield single during a scoreless fifth. He has given up one run in five innings overall. The right-hander also worked two perfect innings in a minor league game Tuesday.


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