Randy Arozarena hit a three-run home run with one out in the first inning and the visiting Tampa Bay Rays hung on to beat the slumping New York Yankees 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The Rays won their fourth straight and eighth in their last 12. They moved within nine games of the Yankees in the AL East. It is the first time its deficit in the division is under double digits since June 13.
New York lost for the 11th time in 13 games and dropped to 8-17 since the All-Star break, when it held a 64-28 record. New York’s division lead is its smallest since it was nine games ahead on June 15.
After singles by Yandy Diaz and Isaac Paredes started the game, Arozarena blasted a 1-1 fastball from Nestor Cortes (9-4) into the left field seats for his 16th homer. It was his fourth homer in six games after going homerless in his previous 16 contests.
Andrew Benintendi tripled in the fifth and scored New York’s first run in 22 innings on a fielding error by third baseman Yandy Diaz. After Diaz bobbled a grounder by Miguel Andujar, Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked but Marwin Gonzalez bounced into a double play.
Benintendi scored New York’s first run since Kiner-Falefa had a tiebreaking safety squeeze in the ninth inning of Saturday’s 3-2 win at Boston.
Tampa Bay’s Jeffrey Springs (5-3) got 10 outs via grounders and allowed one run on two hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked one.
Cortes allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings. The left-hander struck out three, walked none and retired 19 of the final 21 hitters he faced.
Four relievers followed Springs by combining to allow two hits in four innings. Jason Adam retired Aaron Judge on a groundout to second to end the eighth and got the final four outs for his seventh save.
–Field Level Media