Ivan Nova won his third straight game tonight. This time, he was the primary reason why.
The right-hander pitched into the ninth and allowed just one run on four hits to beat Tampa 4-1. He recorded 12 ground outs to five fly outs, making it just the fourth time in 12 starts he recorded the majority of his outs on the ground in 2012.
Nova retired 12 straight at one point. He didn’t allow a hit after Desmond Jennings led off with a single until Sean Rodriguez’s double with one out in the eighth. The Rays finally broke up the shutout when Jennings and B.J. Upton hit back to back triples in the top of the ninth. Rafael Soriano came on with no outs in the ninth and recorded his eighth save in as many chances.
Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano continued their awakenings with solo home runs. Teixeira continued his torrid streak and now has five home runs and 13 RBI since May 23. Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez each added RBI doubles in the eighth.