Banished to the Cubs and the National League after hitting just .198 in 2010, Pena returned to Tampa Bay with a renewed attitude and a fresh start at first base. It didn't take long for his presence to be felt at the plate, as he belted a first inning grand slam off Yankee starter CC Sabathia for a quick 4-0 Tampa Bay lead.
The Yankees bounced back and led 6-4 after their at-bat in the top of the third. Tampa responded with a run in the bottom of the inning and the score remained the same until the bottom of the ninth, when the Rays scored a pair of runs off Yankee closer Mariano Rivera, the final one the game-winner, as Pena stroked a single to center and Ben Zobrist trotted home for the 7-6 decision.
Pena finished his day 3-for-5 with five RBI.
Rivera lasted only 1/3 of an inning, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, both intentional.
The Yanks will try to make amends Saturday night, when the Rays host them again at 7:10 pm EDT.
The LA Dodgers have gotten off on the right foot for their new owners with a 2-0 record as they backed the brilliant pitching of Chad Billingley with two runs in each of the first, third and fifth innings for a 6-0 win at San Diego.
LA topped the Padres, 5-3, in both teams' season opener Thursday.
Billingsley was, for the most part, untouchable, surrendering just three hits to the Padres while striking out 11 with one walk over 8 1/3 scoreless innings.
The 6'1" righty threw 70 of 108 pitches for strikes and was lifted with one out in the 9th after a dominant performance. Reliever Jamey Wright came on to get the final two outs.
Andre Ethier drove in four runs, doubling home a pair in the first inning and tripling home two more in the fifth.
NOTABLE: Albert Pujols was hitless (0-3) in his first game as an LA Angel, but Jered Weaver was in fine form, hurling eight scoreless innings on four hits while fanning 10 in LA's 5-0 win.