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Tuesday August 7, 2001
Yankees 2 @ Devil Rays 3

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ George Steinbrenner came to watch his New York Yankees. The Boss must have left unhappy.

Tanyon Sturtze pitched eight innings, and Jason Tyner knocked in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning single as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the AL East-leading New York Yankees 3-2 Tuesday night.

Steinbrenner, who resides in nearby Tampa, took the opportunity to watch the world champions in person only to see the Yankees lose their third straight game.

"The frustrating part about this last few days really is we've pitched well enough to have won and we just haven't been able to put enough points on the board," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "I felt we were a little tentative tonight, maybe trying to do a little too much. I think we're trying to accomplish too much as opposed to just playing the game the way we know how."

Sturtze (7-9) gave up two runs and seven hits in winning his second straight start for the first time this season. The right-hander struck out three and walked two.

Tyner put the Devil Rays ahead 3-2 with his RBI hit in the seventh. Tampa Bay wasted a chance to blow the game open when Yankees starter Mike Mussina got Greg Vaughn to hit into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs.

After intentionally walking Ben Grieve to reload the bases, Mussina struck out Toby Hall to end the threat.

"It was exciting beating them today ... I had chills at the end of the game," Tyner said. "It's a lot more fun to play in front of bigger crowds, even if they are cheering for the Yankees the first part of the game. They'll be cheering for us if we can take the lead."

The announced attendance was 22,429. The Devil Rays entered averaging 15,720 at home.

Mussina (11-10) went seven innings, giving up three runs and nine hits.

"I've thrown the ball a lot worse and had the outcome turn out a lot better," Mussina said. "It's always frustrating when you don't win. We're just not getting it done, and it's disappointing."

Esteban Yan got the final three outs for his 15th save in 21 opportunities.

Tampa Bay (38-75) is 9-13 against first-place teams this season.

"We came out fired up and ready to go," Devil Rays manager Hal McRae said. "You're always happy when you beat the Yankees. The fans are excited when you play the Yankees. That makes it special."

Jared Sandberg, the nephew of former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, had an RBI single off Mussina in his first major league at-bat during Tampa Bay's two-run second inning.

Sandberg, who was 2-for-4, was recalled from Triple-A Durham earlier in the day and arrived at the ballpark just over an hour before the game. His run-scoring hit followed an RBI single by Randy Winn.

"What I remember of it has been great," said Sandberg, who was informed of his promotion around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio "It has been a long day."

David Justice homered for the second straight game, an opposite-field solo shot that got the Yankees within 2-1 in the fourth. New York has hit 32 homers in 16 games.

The Yankees tied it 2-2 with an unearned run in the sixth. Derek Jeter singled and advanced to third on left fielder Tyner's throwing error. One out later, Bernie Williams knocked in Jeter with a single.

"This game is funny sometimes," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said. "Sometimes you face the toughest guy and you beat him. Sometimes you get a young guy and he beats you. You just got to keep playing. We are too good of a team to be going through what we are going through."

Tampa Bay has allowed 14 unearned runs in 14 games.

^Notes:@ Players from the 13 teams in town for the southern regional of the Little League World Series attended. ... Sandberg was recalled after the Devil Rays placed 1B Steve Cox (back) on the 15-day disabled list. ... Yankees leadoff hitter Chuck Knoblauch went 1-for-4 and has two hits in 18 at-bats. He was charged with a two-base error after misjudging Tyner's flyball in left field that tipped off his glove. ... Tampa Bay DH Greg Vaughn was hitless in four at-bats and is 7-of-47 the past 12 games. ... New York hit into three double plays.