Carlos Pena thrust his arms in the air, rounded first base and headed right into a wild celebration in the middle of the Tropicana Field infield. Pena defied long odds against CC Sabathia and did it again against Mariano Rivera, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a thrilling 7-6 season-opening victory over the New York Yankees on Friday. Pena hit an early grand slam off Sabathia, then completed a ninth-inning comeback with an RBI single off Rivera. Pena finished 3 for 5 with five RBIs in his return to the Rays after a year with the Chicago Cubs. All that after a spring in which he hit .107 and struggled so much that manager Joe Maddon initially penciled him into the No. 7 spot in the batting order for the opener.
MLB: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays